Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Why Deadliest Catch Fans Are Divided About Phil Harris

It's been over 12 years since the shocking death of Captain Phil Harris from "Deadliest Catch," and even today, the legacy of his tragic passing continues to be felt throughout the series. Indeed, the show will never truly feel the same without the Captain's infectious laughter and unwavering perseverance against the chaos of the Bering Sea. He was incredibly popular with fans and crew alike, and was a crucial part of the series throughout the first six seasons.

One of the reasons why his death remains such a monumental moment in the series (and indeed, in the history of reality television itself) is that the entire ordeal was covered extensively within the show's sixth season. Viewers watched in abject horror as the enigmatic captain suffered a stroke and was airlifted to the hospital, where he would later have a pulmonary embolism. Watching Harris' tragic death live on television isn't something you can easily forget –- which is perhaps why fans continue to remember and discuss the long departed Captain even to this day. 

Unfortunately, while many fans have plenty of good things to say about the former Discovery channel star, some fans remain divided over how great of a man the esteemed Captain truly was.

Some fans believe Harris was a bad father

This division amongst fans regarding Phil Harris primarily stems from some of the anecdotes found in his biography, "Captain Phil Harris: The Legendary Crab Fisherman, Our Hero, Our Dad." The book was written by his sons (and fellow "Deadliest Catch" co-stars) Jake and Josh Harris, and details a few examples of Phil being a less-than-stellar father. "I always loved phil and now I just dont understand why Josh idolizes him," wrote u/General-Salary5482 in a Reddit post criticizing the book and Phil himself. "The book was just not a good cast on Phil whatsoever. It was shocking and gritty and heartbreaking."

The user specifically referenced how Phil allegedly gave a 10-year-old Josh alcohol, cigarettes, and a Playboy magazine, frequently used drugs around both children, and also allowed his second wife to physically abuse his sons. The user went on to blame Phil for Jake Harris' well-documented drug problem, and many other users within the comments agreed that Phil had plenty of issues and doesn't deserve the reverence that his sons and the fans have given him.

Of course there are plenty of other "Deadliest Catch" fans who don't feel this way at all, and continue to mourn Harris' death even after all this time. "Anyone else miss Phil Harris?" asks u/mijohvatech on Reddit. "Of course, every damn day," replied u/nsgiad. "Yes. It made me cry again when they did the season 6 marathon," echoed u/yellowrose1974. While there are still plenty of fans who continually idolize the deceased Captain, others remain very vocal in their criticism of him as a father.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.