Weight Watchers Removes “Weird Al” Statue After Controversy

By Pamela Finklestein

Weight Watchers has officially removed the statue of “Weird” Al Yankovic from its corporate headquarters in Manhattan and will no longer play Yankovic’s “Now That’s What I Call Polka!” in their television commercials, the organization announced in a statement on Monday.

This follows last week’s decision by Jenny Craig to suspend the use of Yankovic’s rendition of “Dare To Be Stupid” in their latest exercise video release “Let’s Lose It 2019!” while they investigate an allegation of sizeism against the singer.

The statue of Yankovic in front of the Weight Watchers Madison Avenue office was first covered and then removed.

Channel 8’s RJ Fletcher reported Thursday there are conflicting claims about Yankovic’s 1988 song “Fat.” Some say the song was a parody of a pop song and was considered satire, but has also been said that Yankovic, a vegan, hates obese people.

Weight Watchers released the following statement on Sunday:

“Weight Watchers has enjoyed a long and popular relationship with “Now That’s What I Call Polka!,” as performed by the legendary Alfred Matthew Yankovic, a singer who was awarded the Grammy Award for his playful contributions to our nation’s popular songs,”

“But in recent days, we learned that several of the songs Mr. Yankovic performed in the 1980s include lyrics and sentiments that are incompatible with the values of our organization, and evoke painful and unacceptable themes.”

Weight Watchers quoted CEO Mindy Grossman as saying: “The Weight Watchers principle ‘Smart decisions made simpler so you can live your healthiest, happiest life’ is at the heart of everything Weight Watchers stands for. As a result, we cannot stand idle while material from another era gets in the way of who we are today.”

CORRECTION: It was first reported that Channel 62’s George Newman had first reported the story. This error had been corrected and we apologize in advance to those who need an apology.

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