Oprah Winfrey asks teen Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen ‘what size are you?’ in unearthed 2004 interview


A resurfaced interview between Oprah Winfrey and twin actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is courting controversy, as it featured the chat show queen asking the teenage girls ‘what size are you?’

Filmed in 2004, the girls were 17, with Mary-Kate rumoured to be suffering with an eating disorder at the time.

The interview sees Oprah – now 67 – address the issue point-blank, saying: ‘I know a new rumour [that’s] recently surfaced has really upset you, right?’

Resurfaced: An interview between Oprah Winfrey and twin actresses Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen is courting controversy, as it featured the chat show queen asking the teenage girls ‘what size are you?’

The girls wait for the rest of the question before making a comment, after which Oprah adds: ‘You know, the one about eating.’

Ashley steps in immediately, replying: ‘Yeah, you know people are going to write what they’re going to write. We try not to read the good or the bad because it just comes with the territory.

‘Either you’re too fat, too skinny and people are just gonna write what they – ‘

At this point, Oprah interjects and asks: ‘What size are you, by the way?’ 

Ashley appears particularly taken aback by the question and simply replies: ‘Size?’

'Uncomfortable': Filmed in 2004, the girls were 17, with Mary-Kate rumoured to be suffering with an eating disorder at the time

‘Uncomfortable’: Filmed in 2004, the girls were 17, with Mary-Kate rumoured to be suffering with an eating disorder at the time

The interview sees Oprah address the issue point-blank, saying: 'I know a new rumour [that's] recently surfaced has really upset you, right? The one about eating?' [pictured in 2004, the year of the interview]

The interview sees Oprah address the issue point-blank, saying: ‘I know a new rumour [that’s] recently surfaced has really upset you, right? The one about eating?’ [pictured in 2004, the year of the interview]

Back then: The twins are pictured in 2004, the year Mary-Kate checked into rehab for anorexia

Back then: The twins are pictured in 2004, the year Mary-Kate checked into rehab for anorexia 

Mary-Kate chimes in at this point, explaining they have always been ‘petite’ – at which Oprah – who has herself admitted weight struggles across her career – replies ‘Oh, that’s so interesting!’ sarcastically.

This sets the audience off laughing, with the twins smiling along.

Oprah adds: ‘That is so interesting, I’m obsessed with size and you’re like, “I really don’t know!”‘

‘If we were obsessed with our size it’d be, I don’t know, a different story,’ Mary-Kate replied, trying to move off topic.

In 2010, Mary-Kate told Marie Claire: 'I think it's really important to be able to talk when something's wrong,' she said. 'I learned at a really young age that if you don't talk about it, it can drive you insane' [pictured 2004]

In 2010, Mary-Kate told Marie Claire: ‘I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong,’ she said. ‘I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane’ [pictured 2004]

Later that year, Mary-Kate checked into rehab to seek treatment for what indeed transpired to be a battle with anorexia.

MailOnline has approached reps for the Olsens and Oprah for comment.

Those rewatching the interview have branded it ‘uncomfortable’. One social media user remarked: ‘I know we’re living in different times, but how did they think that was okay!?! [Because] they’re young?’

Another posted: ‘The Olsens keep such a cheery smiley warm and inviting presence and they maintain their positive vibes despite Oprah continuously and obviously disrespecting and trying to trigger them!’

A third penned: ‘Wow! Was Oprah ever called out for this? Inappropriate much?’ 

Success: The now-34-year-old twins were child stars, growing up in the spotlight, before becoming fashion designers. They are worth a combined $500 million [£350 million] [pictured in 2019]

Success: The now-34-year-old twins were child stars, growing up in the spotlight, before becoming fashion designers. They are worth a combined $500 million [£350 million] [pictured in 2019]

Struggles: Oprah is pictured in 2020. She has detailed her own weight struggles over the years

Struggles: Oprah is pictured in 2020. She has detailed her own weight struggles over the years

The now-34-year-old twins – who found fame in sitcom Full House when they were six – were child stars, growing up in the spotlight, before becoming fashion designers. They are worth a combined $500 million [£350 million].

In 2010, Mary-Kate told Marie Claire: ‘I think it’s really important to be able to talk when something’s wrong,’ she said. ‘I learned at a really young age that if you don’t talk about it, it can drive you insane.’

If you have been affected by the issues in this story you can call B-eat (Beat Eating Disorders) on 0808 801 0677 or visit beateatingdisorders.org.uk.



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