'The Biggest Loser' fires back at Kai Hibbard for reputation-shattering allegations
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 01/22/2015
Third-season The Biggest Loser contestant Kai Hibbard has bashed the show before, but she's recently taken it to a whole new level and producers aren't putting up with it anymore.
"The whole f-cking show is a fat-shaming disaster that I'm embarrassed to have participated in," Hibbard, who lost 121 pounds during her stint on the show in 2006, toldthe New York Post on Sunday. "You're brainwashed to believe that you're super lucky to be there."
Hibbard also claimed her family needed to stage an intervention for her after the show because of her weight and The Biggest Loser doctor at the time had warned her people on the show didn't care about her health -- only profit and entertainment. After another anonymous contestant told the Post trainers and production members had bullied and harassed her, it was time for The Biggest Loser to speak up.
"It's been hard to sit back and listen to an attack and not come out and call afoul, but I have done that for many years," The Biggest Loserco-creator and executive producer Dave Broome toldPeople.
"I've held back for many years on this because I didn't want to give it any credence or credibility. But I think at this point we just feel like there needs to be a balance with this story."
Broome insisted the allegations are "false" andThe Biggest Loser puts together "an incredible medical team of doctors, nutritionists and therapists. You name it we've had it and continue to evolve [our supervised care]."
Hibbard told the newspaper, "[Show staff] would say things to contestants like, 'You're going die before your children grow up.' 'You're going to die, just like your mother.' 'We've picked out your fat-person coffin' -- that was in a text message. One production assistant told a contestant to take up smoking because it would cut her appetite in half."
Hibbard went on to say that she was forced to work out hard when her feet were bleeding through her shoes and she got to a point where her hair was falling out, she couldn't sleep at night and her periods stopped completely.
"She may actually believe what she says," The Biggest Loser's Season 8 winner Danny Cahill told People. "I just find it hard to believe when almost every other contestant talks publicly about the positive aspects. The show is like life: There are positive and negative aspects. I'm sorry she chooses to see only the few negative aspects."
"No one placed shame on me as part of the show," Season 3 contestant Julie Hadden agreed. "For me,The Biggest Loser was life-changing. I took with me a world of knowledge on proper nutrition and fitness and healthy lifestyle choices that I still use every day."
Even Scott Mitchell, who competed on the show's current sixteenth edition, argued Hibbard's claims "could not be further from the truth" and they were taught how long-term health was the goal -- not winning.
"Millions of people around the world whose lives have been changed" by The Biggest Loser, Broome said.
The next episode of The Biggest Loser: Glory Days airs Thursday night at 8PM ET/PT on NBC.