The Swiss are known for their neutrality, but try and label them racist and they are indeed willing to take sides. Oprah Winfrey, the most vain, self-indulgent human-being outside of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, has learned this lesson the hard way when she causally accused a store clerk in Switzerland of racism due to her level of service.
Here’s Oprah’s BS story:
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse.
‘I’m in a store and the person doesn’t obviously know that I carry the black card and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am,’ said Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.
‘I didn’t have anything that said “I have money”: I wasn’t wearing a diamond stud. I didn’t have a pocketbook. I didn’t wear Louboutin shoes. I didn’t have anything,’ said Winfrey on the red carpet.
‘You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say “I’d like to see this”. That didn’t happen.’
The store clerk responded:
The Trois Pommes sales assistant said over the weekend that she felt ‘powerless’ and in the grip of a ‘cyclone’ after Winfrey went on TV in America to make the claim.
‘I wasn’t sure what I should present to her when she came in on the afternoon of Saturday, July 20, so I showed her some bags from the Jennifer Aniston collection.
‘I explained to her the bags came in different sizes and materials, like I always do.
‘She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag.
‘I simply told her that it was like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags.
‘It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds. I even asked her if she wanted to look at the bag.
Here’s what really happened:
1) Oprah walks into the store, the clerk didn’t recognize her. This is impossible in Oprah’s mind. Thus, the clerk treating her like any other customer in a rich-peoples’ store was to Oprah the clerk treating her shabbily because she was black.
2) Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse: These words were never spoken, but to Oprah, the fact that nobody shouted, immediately upon her arrival, “It’s Oprah! Please, look at our most expensive items!” is tantamount to them “telling” her she couldn’t afford it because she’s black, i.e. because racism.
You see, the incident was set in stone in Oprah’s mind within the first 5 seconds of her arrival. After that, the hole was too deep for the Swiss clerk to climb out. Now Oprah says she’s sorry…not for the racism charge, but that she brought it up and we, the great-unwashed, blew it out of proportion.
Perhaps the most hillarious part of the story is this line from Oprah after Swiss tourism officials offered an apology:
‘It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store,’ she continued. ‘It was just one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag.
‘So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!’ (emphasis mine)
The United States…of America? Is that what she’s talking about? Might want to get an opinion on that take from, oh, I don’t know: Trent Lott, Paula Deen, Tracy Morgan, Michael Richards, Mel Gibson, Don Imus, Dr. Laura, Sergio Garcia, Roy Hibbert, Brett Ratner, and Riley Cooper just to name a few.
Like all charges of racism, it’s out there and there’s no going back. The Swiss clerk has been slandered and nothing will ever wash away that taint…Oprah knows this.
But I could be wrong. There could be something more sinister at work. Oprah might be lying about the whole thing and have some devious reason for creating a racial kerfuffle. I can’t imagine why, though.
On an unrelated note, did you know she has a new movie coming out this week about a black butler in the White House? Funny that.