Oprah Winfrey to Explore Soaring Ozempic Use on ABC Special

LOS ANGELES - JAN 26: Oprah Winfrey at The 1619 Project Premiere Screening at the Motion Picture Academy Musem on January 26, 2023 in Los Angeles, CA — Photo by Jean_Nelson/Deposit Photos

Oprah Winfrey will discuss the growing popularity of prescription weight loss drugs in an upcoming ABC special.

“It is a very personal topic for me and for the hundreds of millions of people impacted around the globe who have for years struggled with weight and obesity,” Winfrey said in a statement Thursday.

News of the March 18 television event titled An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution, comes three months after Winfrey, 70, admitted in a December interview that she uses an unnamed weight loss medication as a “maintenance tool,” despite previously criticizing people who use the drugs for “taking the easy way out.”

Related StoryOprah Winfrey to Exit WeightWatchers Board, Donate Shares to Black History Museum

Per ABC, the special will discuss pressing questions around Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy and other prescription diabetes and weight loss medications.

Joining the conversation are Dr. W. Scott Butsch of the Cleveland Clinic; ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton; ABC News medical correspondent Dr. Darien Sutton; and Dr. Amanda Velazquez of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Speaking in front of a live studio audience, Winfrey will sit down with pharmaceutical company leaders and patients who’ve used prescription weight loss drugs, including a teenager who was among the first to take advantage of the new medications.

ABC says the special will answer questions including: Why is obesity designated a disease? Who are the medications really intended for? Who is eligible to receive weight loss drugs? What should folks ask their doctors? What are the short-term and long-term side-effects? What are the supply chain challenges and the impact on those with diabetes? Why is there shame surrounding taking medication, and what is the future of these medicines in our society and culture?

“We are thrilled to work with Oprah and the voices she has assembled to open a dialogue that destigmatizes and educates viewers on the important and polarizing topic of weight loss,” said Craig Erwich, president of Disney Television Group.

Last month, WeightWatchers announced Winfrey would step down from the company’s board amid controversy over her use of weight loss medications. The former talk show host was a WW board member since 2015.

She owned 1.13 million shares worth $6.34 million as of Jan. 1, per London Stock Exchange Group data. Instead of holding onto the stock, Winfrey said she plans to donate her shares to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

The talk show titan will detail the latest chapter in her weight loss journey on An Oprah Special: Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution, airing Monday, March 18, from 8:00-9:00 p.m. EDT/PDT on ABC and the next day on Hulu.

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