Oprah Winfrey Says She Left WeightWatchers Board to Silence Her Critics

Oprah Winfrey visited Jimmy Kimmel Live on Thursday, March 14, 2024. (Credit: YouTube/ABC)

Oprah Winfrey sat down with Jimmy Kimmel on Thursday night to discuss her upcoming ABC special on weight loss drugs and her exit from the board at WeightWatchers.

Winfrey, 70, stepped down from the WW board last month amid controversy over her use of weight loss medications.

Related StoryOprah Winfrey to Explore Soaring Ozempic Use on ABC Special

During her appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the media mogul said she left the board to avoid “the appearance of any conflict of interest,” as well as to silence her critics after admitting she used medication to help her slim down.

“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,” she said. “So nobody can say, ‘Oh, she’s doing that special, she’s making money, promoting.’ No, you cannot say that.”

Winfrey had been on the WW board since 2015, and said she is donating all of her shares to the National Museum of African American History and Culture. She owned 1.13 million shares worth $6.34 million as of Jan. 1, per London Stock Exchange Group data.

In December, the former talk show host admitted using an unnamed weight loss drug as a “maintenance tool.”

“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,” Winfrey told People magazine in December.

Her ABC special will focus on pressing questions surrounding Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and other prescription diabetes and weight loss medications, ABC previously announced.

The one-hour special is produced by Harpo Productions, with Oprah Winfrey and Tara Montgomery serving as executive producers.

An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution airs Monday, March 18, from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on ABC and the next day on Hulu.

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