Oprah Winfrey Breaks Silence On Why She Quit WeightWatchers Board After 10 Years

Oprah Winfrey has broken her silence on why she resigned from WeightWatchers after almost 10 years on the board.

The 71-year-old talk show icon revealed in December that she had lost weight with the help of a weight loss medication, and she said it was “redemption” after years of struggling with her body confidence. However, she was forced to step down from her position on the board at WeightWatchers in February following a backlash over her confession, and Oprah has finally spoken about the reasons behind her decision to end her partnership with the weight loss company.

During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! last week, the media mogul explained she stepped down ahead of the premiere of her upcoming documentary about weight loss medication, as she felt it would be a “conflict of interest”. Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution will air in the US this week, and Oprah admitted she didn’t want to be influenced by her association with WeightWatchers while making the eye-opening special.

“I decided because this special was really important to me, and I wanted to be able to talk about whatever I want to talk about. And WeightWatchers is now in the business of being a weight-health company that also administers drug medications for weight. I did not want to have the appearance of any conflict of interest,” she explained. Oprah donated all of her shares to the National Museum of African American History, as she wanted to be transparent about the end of her time with WeightWatchers. “So nobody can say ‘Oh, she’s doing that special, she’s making money, promoting,’ no, you cannot say that,” she stated.

The documentary comes just after Oprah revealed she had used a weight loss medication to help shed the pounds, and she told People it was a decision she made after “blaming myself all these years for being overweight”. Explaining her choice to use the undisclosed medication, she continued: “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.”

Oprah has served on the WeightWatchers board since 2015, acquiring a 10% stake in the company, and has been an ambassador for them since 2017. Her decision to step down was announced last month, and she said in a statement that she “would not be standing for re-election as a member of the Board at the Company's 2024 annual meeting of shareholders” in May. Following the news of Oprah’s resignation, shares in WeightWatchers dropped 20%.

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