After her recent mention of a incident in Switzerland where she felt she was the victim of racism during a visit to an upscale Zurich boutique (which the store in question has denied), Oprah Winfrey is now apologizing for the ensuing media frenzy. Sort of.
While at the L.A. premiere of her new film, “Lee Daniels’ The Butler,” on Monday (Aug. 12) night, Winfrey told the Associated Press, “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.
“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,” the media mogul continued.
The incident in question, which Winfrey disclosed in a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, involved a clerk at the boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey claims she was told she couldn’t afford the $38,000 purse.
“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,” Winfrey explained 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 frenzy over Winfrey’s claims led to direct apologies from both the boutique owner and Swiss tourism officials last week, but Winfrey says 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!”
Well, she has a point there.