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6Oprah Winfrey Got ‘Pretty Woman’-ed by Switzerland, But At Least They Apologized

oprah winfrey

Listen, I know that Oprah is an American superstar, but I also assume she has a level of fame that would mean she’d be recognized around the world – at least in major cities in the developed world. Apparently Zurich, Switzerland didn’t get the message, since Oprah was in the country for Tina Turner’s wedding (LOL) and decided to do a little shopping. However, things went downhill when a shop assistant repeatedly refused to show O a bag she wanted because she thought she couldn’t afford it. Whaaaaat? Oprah’s made more money last month than that shop assistant will in the next 20 years, so… no.

The shop owner later claimed it was a “misunderstanding” on the salesperson’s part, but fuck that. Oprah’s calling bullshit, as well, and feels as though the incident happened because of her race. Sad, but probably true. If Oprah was white, the assumption probably would have been that of COURSE she could afford it because white people are far more likely to be able to afford luxury. I can’t even get into this one.

Anyway, now the Swiss Tourism Board has decided to speak up and offer an apology (via WENN):

The press release reads: “Switzerland Tourism is deeply sorry to learn about the experience Ms. Winfrey recently had in Switzerland, and we apologize that her feelings were hurt. We would like to assure Ms. Winfrey – like any visitor to Switzerland – that she is welcome with open arms.”

Tourism reps also reached out to Winfrey directly via Twitter.com, adding, “We are fuming – this person acted terribly wrong. We are sorry this happened to @oprah.”

Something tells me she may not head back to the country anytime soon.

August 11, 2013 at 12:30 pm by Jennifer
Filed Under: Oprah, Oprah Winfrey

6 Responses to “Oprah Winfrey Got ‘Pretty Woman’-ed by Switzerland, But At Least They Apologized”

  1. Emilie says:

    Haha! Oprah is certainly not a well-known TV host in most developed countries, just like most foreign well-known-in-their-respective-countries TV hosts are totally unknown in the US. Even in “major cities”.
    Switzerland is used to having rich people visiting from all countries. What if Oprah was having a bad hair day or wearing sweatpants when she visited? I mean, let’s give this shop assistant the benefit of the doubt here… I mean, black or white just doesn’t mean anything in Switzerland: you’ll have to look very hard to find poor people there.

  2. Chose Binouche says:

    Simply looks to me like a do-you-who-I-am ego trip more than anything else. Regardless of how “big” she is in her home country, she’s a local celebrity.

  3. kimcheee says:

    Oprah constantly complains about racism. I think she’s stirring the pot as a favor to her extremely powerful friends who meet in secret. Oprah even pitched a racist fit on Howard Zinn’s birthday. The irony wasn’t lost on me.

    She features mostly black guests on SuperSoulSunday too. I think she’s obsessed with racism.

    • kimcheee says:

      I just read on DM that the salesperson denies the interaction completely. Yes, she says that Oprah is a liar. I believe the salesperson.

  4. Anon says:

    If the big O doesn’t go back to Switzerland because of ONE sales person mistake/actions, then she is just as ignorant as her so called racist enemies. This incident has nothing to do with the country as a whole, and if she refuses to go back anytime soon, then it clearly is an ego issue more than a racial one. Because this was an isolated incident, the entire country shouldn’t be held accountable.

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