The Dr. Oz media empire just took a blow from the woman who helped make him famous: Oprah Winfrey. According to New York Daily News, "'The Daily Dose With Dr. Oz,' a 'radio minute' produced by Oprah's Harpo Productions, will end May 29."
Even more interesting: Oz's spot, which aired on 150 stations, may be replaced with "A Better Life With Dr. Sanjay Gupta" — the CNN chief medical correspondent.
While there has been no explanation for the switch, the news comes just over a week after Oz faced heavy criticism for featuring questionable science on The Dr. Oz Show. The public scorn has caused some to question whether Oz — who was a medical expert on Oprah's show starting in 2004 — is now tarnishing Oprah's legacy.
In particular, a group of doctors and professors from across the country signed a letter addressed to Columbia's dean of medicine — where Oz has a faculty position — calling the medical school's affiliation with the TV star "unacceptable."
Their letter arose out of a chorus of concerns about the increasingly questionable health advice featured on the show, and the public health impact "America's Doctor" — arguably the most powerful health voice in this country — has.
Dr. Oz fired back with a counterattack — but many pointed out the ad hominem nature of his defense. He mostly tried to steer the conversation away from his misuse of science and toward the conflicts of interest some of the doctors who wrote the letter had.
Oz then also claimed that his show is not a medical one. "We very purposely, on the logo, have ‘Oz' as the middle, and the ‘Doctor' is actually up in the little bar for a reason," he said in a TV interview. "I want folks to realize that I'm a doctor, and I'm coming into their lives to be supportive of them. But it's not a medical show."
This only prompted more criticism. HBO's John Oliver pointed out some of the problems with Oz's arguments:
Let’s be clear: The First Amendment protects Americans against government censorship, and that’s it. It does not guarantee you the right to simultaneously hold a faculty position at a prestigious private university and make misleading claims on a TV show.
It absolutely protects you to say whatever you like on it, just as it protects my right to say what I think about you on mine, which is this: You are the worst person in scrubs who has ever been on television—and I’m including Katherine Heigl in that. Do you have any idea how difficult it is to be worse than Katherine Heigl? You are also the admittedly handsome ringmaster of a middling mid-afternoon snake-oil dispensary and it says something that even when you do a show with seven fake models of human feces, the biggest piece of shit on the stage has his name in the title.