Oprah Left WeightWatchers to Avoid a ‘Conflict of Interest’

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Oprah Winfrey is back on TV and — surprise! — she’s talking about weight loss. On Thursday night, ahead of her special on weight-loss drugs like Ozempic and Mounjaro, which airs next week, she explained why she recently distanced herself from WeightWatchers.

In February, after nearly a decade on the WeightWatchers board, Winfrey announced she was stepping down and donating her shares of the company. Speaking to Jimmy Kimmel last night, she explained that she made the decision because she didn’t want “to have the appearance of any conflict of interest.” She added: “I decided that because this special was really important to me and I wanted to be able to talk about whatever I wanted to talk about, and WeightWatchers is now in the business of being a weight-health company that also administers drug medications for weight.”

WeightWatchers entered the prescription weight-loss drug business in 2023. In December, after months of speculation about whether Winfrey had been using Ozempic, she revealed that she was taking weight-loss medication, though she didn’t specify which one. Then, last week, she announced her upcoming program, titled An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution. According to ABC, the special, which was filmed in front of a live studio audience, will discuss shame and questions around taking weight-loss drugs.

“I resigned from the board and donated all of my shares to the National Museum of African American History and Culture,” Winfrey told Kimmel. “So nobody can say, ‘Oh, she’s doing that special, she’s making money, promoting.’ No, you cannot say that.” Estimates vary when it comes to just how much money Winfrey made from WeightWatchers, though analysts recently put it in the ballpark $220 million. But I guess she expects us to believe she’s done profiting off weight loss?

Oprah Left WeightWatchers to Avoid a ‘Conflict of Interest’