Dr. David Drew Pinsky, the celebrity better known as “Dr. Drew,’’ has been pulled from consideration for Los Angeles’ commission on homelessness after a campaign against his nomination by opponents who criticized his past statements on the causes and solutions to the homeless problem plaguing the county.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger announced this week that she had withdrawn her nomination of Pinsky for the 10-member Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority.
Barger said opposition to the nomination had become a distraction, but she still praised Pinsky as someone with a “passion for addressing these issues when a new voice is clearly needed.’’
“As my proposed appointee to the LAHSA Commission, I brought forward Dr. Drew Pinsky—a respected medical doctor who offers decades of experience in mental health care and substance abuse treatment,’’ Barger said. “I knew that Dr. Drew would bring a new, forward-thinking approach and would help us address mental health and substance abuse as driving factors in the ongoing homelessness crisis. Unfortunately, the proposed appointment took away from these important conversations about care for people experiencing homelessness.”
Pinsky, who gained fame in the 1990s with the syndicated radio show “Loveline,’’ which was later turned into a television show for MTV, had lobbied for a spot on the commission, believing that his expertise in addiction treatment could help make a difference in the city’s approach to the homelessness issue.
But that approach turned off many observers. In addition to a #DumpDrDrew Twitter campaign, more than 100 people submitted public comments against his proposed nomination, many citing Pinsky’s past statements that mental illness and drug and alcohol addiction were major factors driving up the county’s homeless population.