Oprah Reveals Why She Left WeightWatchers Before Upcoming TV Special About Weight Loss Drugs: ‘I Did Not Want To Have The Appearance Of Any Conflict Of Interest’

Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Reveals Why She Left WeightWatchers Before Upcoming TV Special About Weight Loss Drugs: ‘I Did Not Want To Have The Appearance Of Any Conflict Of Interest’

Update (March 15): Oprah Winfrey opened up about stepping down from the WeightWatchers board after almost a decade.

While on Jimmy Kimmel Live Thursday (March 14), the media mogul shared that she didn’t want her position with WeightWatchers to conflict with her upcoming  ABC special about weight loss drugs (titled Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution) after she revealed she used medication to lose weight.

“I decided that because this special is really important to me, I wanted to be able to talk about whatever I want to talk about.”

She noted that WeightWatchers is a “weight health company” that provides weight loss medication, adding,

“I did not want to have the appearance of any conflict of interest. So I resigned from the board and I donated all of my shares to the National Museum of African-American [History & Culture].”

Oprah Winfrey added that the WeightWatchers team “almost” cried when she left.

Original Story (Feb. 29): It’s the end of an era!

According to reports, sometime this week Oprah Winfrey shared with WeightWatchers that after nearly ten years, she has decided to leave their board. As of now, the reason for the media mogul’s change of heart has yet to be revealed. However, some speculate it may have something to do with her revealing her use of a weight loss drug. As previously reported, in December, Oprah Winfrey shared that she’s incorporated a diet pill into her fitness routine. At the time, she said,

“The fact that there’s a medically approved prescription for managing weight and staying healthier, in my lifetime, feels like relief, like redemption, like a gift, and not something to hide behind and once again be ridiculed for. I’m absolutely done with the shaming from other people and particularly myself.”

Many were shocked by the news as Oprah Winfrey has been the face of WeightWatchers – a company dedicated to helping people lose weight naturally – since 2015 when she first joined the board and reportedly purchased a 10% stake in the company. On Thursday (Feb. 29) WeightWatchers publicly announced Oprah’s decision. Reportedly, CEO Sima Sistani praised the billionaire for her dedication to the company during a recent call with investors. She purportedly said,

“Oprah is an inspiring presence and passionate advocate both for our members and for society at large, in elevating the conversation around weight health.”

Sistani continued,

“While I and the rest of our directors will certainly miss her in our board meetings following the end of her current term, she remains a strong strategic voice and collaborator with WeightWatchers.”

Oprah Winfrey

As far as Oprah’s current stock in WeightWatchers, she plans on donating it to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. In a released statement on where she now stands with the popular diet company, Oprah reportedly said,

“I look forward to continuing to advise and collaborate with WeightWatchers and CEO Sima Sistani in elevating the conversation around recognizing obesity as a chronic condition, working to reduce stigma and advocating for health equity.”

Speaking on her donation, she added,

“I have been a long-time supporter of this worthy organization, and I am proud to continue my support.”


How do you feel about Oprah Winfrey ending her partnership with WeightWatchers? Tell us in the comments below! 

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Authored by: Twila-Amoure McDaniel