Former Biggest Loser contestant Kai Hibbard blasted the reality show in a scathing new interview with the New York Post earlier this week. The Season 3 contestant, who has actually been speaking out against the show for years, told the newspaper that she and the other contestants on her season were treated like animals, forced to work out even when they were injured, and had their food intake dangerously restricted, among other things.
‘The whole f**king show is a fat-shaming disaster that I’m embarrassed to have participated in,” she told The Post.
The interview quickly made the rounds to the media, and several other former cast members have spoken out about Kai’s claims against the show.
Some of the particularly scathing claims made by Kai (and another former contestant The Post spoke with) include:
- Contestants were forbidden from leaving their hotel rooms once they arrived in LA to begin filming.
- The producers may have bugged a contestant’s personal computer.
- Contestants were forced to work out up to eight hours a day, even if they were injured.
- The trainers got a “sick pleasure” out of watching contestants collapse.
- Contestants are often “brainwashed” into thinking that they were lucky to be there, despite the abuse they endured.
- The trainers often told her (and texted her) cruel messages about her dying.
Most of the former ‘Biggest Loser’ contestants that spoke out about Kai’s claims have defended the show, including one contestant from last season who exclusively told The Ashley that, “None of [those things] happened on our season. I never did anything that I didn’t want to do.”
The contestant (who asked to remain anonymous), went on to point out that, while Kai may have had different experiences on her season, it happened so long ago that it’s almost invalid at this point.
“Her issues seem to be at least eight years old so to me her opinions [about how the show works] are expired,” the contestant said.
The contestant goes on to admit that there were, indeed, times last season that the producers asked the contestants to do things that they didn’t want to do. However, it was up to the contestants themselves to speak up for themselves.
“I never did anything on the show that I didn’t want to do, and no one forced me to do anything,” the contestant said. “I will say that there were times I felt uncomfortable and I voiced those opinions and that was that. Everything we all did we did through our own volition.[Kai] seems to [have] a lack of self accountability that I don’t quite understand.”
Julie Hadden, a contestant on the season after Kai’s, told People that she had a positive experience on the show.
“No one placed shame on me as part of the show,” she told the magazine. “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.”
While the overall majority of contestants that spoke out about the story denied Kai’s claims, a few former ‘Loser’ cast members defended Kai, including former show winner Matt Hoover, who agreed that the show greatly lacks in taking care of its contestants after a season ends.
“What has always bothered me was that there was no ‘after care’
#fatperson/skinnybody,” he tweeted.
Francelina Morillo, a contestant on the show’s 14th season, also jumped in to defend Kai on Twitter.
“Same ppl criticizing
@KaiHibbard r same ppl who say same exact thing behind closed doors,” she tweeted after the original story broke.
In a statement to The Ashley, NBC defended the show against Kai’s claims.
“Our contestants are closely monitored and medically supervised,” the statement read. “The consistent ‘Biggest Loser’ health transformations of over 300 contestants through sixteen seasons of the program speak for themselves.”
In an Facebook post written after the original story ran, Kai stated that she was not paid for the interview, and knew that her experiences on the show may have been unique.
“I only speak for me and I respect those contestants that came before and after me and had a different experience,” she wrote.