Oprah Racism in Zurich: Tourism Office and Store Owner Apologize

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  • Oprah Winfrey
    (Photo: Screen Grab via ET News)
    Media Mogul and one of the world's richest women, Oprah Winfrey, says a racist store clerk in Zurich, Switzerland refused to show her a handbag because it was "too expensive" for her.
By Emma Koonse , Christian Post Reporter
August 9, 2013|1:29 pm

Oprah Winfrey received an apology from the Swiss store where she received racist treatment from a shop assistant last month.

The media mogul had attended the wedding of Tina Turner in Zurch in July when she experienced an uncomfortable shopping encounter which she recently shared with Entertainment Weekly.

Winfrey, estimated to have earned $77 million last year alone, asked a Trois Pommes shop assistant about a Tom Ford "Jennifer" bag costing $38,000, only to be denied because the item was "too expensive."

Consequently, on Friday, the media mogul received an apology from Switzerland's tourism office as well as Trois Pommes owner Trudie Gotz.

"We are very sorry for what happened to her, of course, because we think all of our guests and clients should be treated respectfully, in a professional way," said Daniela Baer, a spokeswoman for the Swiss tourism office.

Furthermore, the office posted a message to Twitter saying that the store's assistant "acted terribly wrong."

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Gotz said that she was "truly sorry" for what transpired between Winfrey and the Trois Pommes assistant, but that it was simply a "misunderstanding" and not racism.

"I have to admit that the employee is Italian," said Gotz while speaking to BBC. "Of course, she speaks English, but not as well as her mother tongue. It was a real misunderstanding."

Gotz added that her employee "only meant well" and will not be dismissed from Trois Pommes.

Winfrey first shed light on the incident while promoting her film "The Butler" and discussing modern racism.

"I got into a store and I saw to the woman, 'Excuse me, could I see the bag right above your head?' and she says to me, 'No. It's too expensive,'" Winfrey recounted while speaking to Entertainment Tonight.

"I left the store but it proves that racism is still an issue," the 59-year-old added.

 

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