I’m not generally a fan of celebrities doing commercials, and have a lot of respect for the ones who won’t, like Bonnie Raitt and Neil Young. But I don’t mind Oprah doing commercials for Weight Watchers. It’s something she’s used herself, and if she finds their products and services helpful and wants to lend her star power to their promotion, fine. I don’t even mind her doing commercials for other stuff, should she chose to, because I suspect any money she receives would be used for great purposes, like supporting her Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa.

What I do mind is Oprah using the same set that she uses for journalistic interviews – that beautiful spot under the trees – to do fakey-fake interviews with weight loss clients for her Weight Watchers’ commercials. Maybe they’re different trees, but it sure looks like the same set she uses to conduct those profound interviews with transcendent spiritual, cultural and political figures like Maya Angelou and Marianne Williamson.

To do these commercials in the same style as her interviews feels like a betrayal of journalistic ethics, and diminishes the integrity of those interviews. And there was no reason to do the commercials that way! Her mere presence in the commercials would have been sufficient to get across the message that she digs the product. There was no need to bastardize her own work in the process. Way to besmirch your brand, Oprah!

Under the Trees with Iyanla – An Excerpt from Super Soul Sunday

Under the Trees with Kylei – Weight Watchers Commercial