Oprah's Ozempic TV special shows she's a disappointing sellout

POLITICS: Oprah’s Ozempic TV special shows she’s a disappointing sellout


“The No. 1 thing I hope people come away with is knowing that [obesity] is a disease, and it’s in the brain,” Oprah Winfrey said in her Monday prime-time TV documentary “Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution.”

The same could be said of the TV legend’s narcissistic personality disorder. 

For years, Oprah shared her diet odyssey with the masses, beloved by so many women for the vulnerability she displayed when it came to her struggles with the scale and body image. 


Oprah Winfrey hosted a TV special “Shame, Blame and the Weight Loss Revolution” on Ozempic and other weight loss drugs. Disney/Eric McCandless

While sharing the ups and the downs of her ever-fluctuating weight-loss journey, she never failed to make a pretty penny along the way. 

As a Weight Watchers ambassador for nearly a decade, she was paid to bear witness to the power of portion control, moderation and exercise. 

But just a few months ago, we got the skinny on why Oprah is looking so svelte.

As it turns out, it wasn’t just water, walks and willpower.

Alas, the silver bullet of weight-loss injections spreading like wildfire through Hollywood’s elite circles had claimed its greatest mark yet. 

Unlike the other celebs and elites who used the shots to go from LA chubby (read: could comfortably lose 5 to 10 pounds) to downright skeletal, Oprah gave a new face to this wonder drug. 

A lifelong member of the Always on a Diet Club, she was our sister in the struggle to lose weight and keep it off.

Wildly successful, filthy rich and ferociously famous, she was never one of us — but we kept up with her on the tireless and O-so relatable journey to shed pounds and maybe even gain a little self-acceptance along the way. 

But now that she’s caved to the craze of weight-loss injections, is that the green light for the rest of us to hop on the bandwagon? 

For years we’ve been told there’s no magic diet pill — but you’d never know that from watching “The Oprah Winfrey Show.”

Let’s not forget it was she who introduced us to the grand wizard of grift: Dr. Mehmet Oz, television’s most prolific weight-loss scammer, whom she affectionately dubbed “America’s Doctor.” 

For years he peddled waist-trimming tripe on her program, luring viewers desperate to drop stubborn pounds to throw cash at products promising revolutionary results. 

He hawked raspberry ketones, calling them a “miracle in a bottle to burn fat.” 

Green-coffee-extract capsules promised a “magic weight-loss cure” — for 50 bucks a bottle. 

Yacon syrup (whatever that is) was a “metabolism game-changer.”

Saffron extract? “A miracle appetite suppressant.”

All bunk. All promoted by Oprah and Oz to viewers frantic for a weight-loss miracle, to the tune of millions of consumer dollars spent on junk. 

But it seems Oprah has finally found the miracle drug she can put her weight behind — never mind that she won’t say which one she’s taking.

Will this be her final frontier in the battle against the bulge? 

She says her departure from Weight Watchers’ board clears her of any questions around conflict of interest, yet she admits the medical experts she trotted out on the special are shilling for the pharma companies pumping out GLP-1 meds.

And while Oprah isn’t getting paid to pile praise on Ozempic or Wegovy — yet! — she’s still selling out.

The shame of it all is Oprah daftly declaring victory while waving the white flag of surrender.

She hasn’t defeated her body-image demons or conquered her lifelong weight woes.

She’s simply caved to the pressure of our thin-at-any-cost culture.

After baring her struggles with the scale to the world for decades — and getting paid to do it — Oprah laments that throughout her career, mocking her weight was a “national sport.” 

That may be so, but she was the one who televised it.  

While Oprah’s Ozempic special purports to take aim at the culture of “shame and blame” surrounding weight-loss drugs, perhaps that’s not the culture that needs critiquing. 

What about the culture of vanity that prizes thinness over gut health, metabolic function and the growing list of dire health risks that accompany these drugs, from chronic nausea to pancreatitis to muscle loss to those yet unknown?

Or the culture of disempowerment that claims obesity is a genetic disease that cannot be remedied by diet, exercise or behavior and discourages making those necessary changes in favor of a daily injection? 

And don’t forget the culture that doles out a magic shot at $1,000 a pop to body-dysmorphic celebrities and Real Housewives while diabetes patients ration their prescribed doses thanks to shortages. 

Maybe Oprah Winfrey just doesn’t have the willpower for those conversations.

Taylor Walters is a journalist living at the Jersey Shore.



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