By Sandra Birungi
It was a surprise when a shop attendant told probably one of the most richest women in the world of all time, Oprah Winfrey would not afford a bag she wanted to have a look at. It did not sit well with the 59 year old who termed it as a racist remark.
However, the incident, according to Oprah was blown out of proportion and she has come out to apologize. “I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I’m really sorry that it got blown up. I purposefully did not mention the name of the store. I’m sorry that I said it was Switzerland,” Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of “Lee Daniels: The Butler.”
“I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don’t expect that you would be able to be there,” she continued.
Oprah talked about the incident during an interview with “Entertainment Tonight”. Winfrey said a shop attendant refused her to have a look at a $38,000 bag because she did not think she would afford it. The incident took place in Zurich.
“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. “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. 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.”
Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there’s no need. “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!”