Racism occurs all over the world in a variety of cultures. However, when there is a celebrity involved, it will become news as the media jumps on the story. That is what occurred when Oprah Winfrey was recently in Switzerland. She went to Trois Pommes and asked to see a handbag. With the price tag of $38,000, the clerk at the store refused to show it to her.
According to Winfrey, the clerk didn’t feel that she could afford to make such a purchase. In fact, it is stated that the clerk told her it was too much and she would show her other options that she could afford. According to the store owner, the clerk was merely trying to give Winfrey many options and doesn’t speak very good English. The store also offered less expensive handbags on the lower floor of the shop.
The head of tourism in the country stated that she is very sorry such an event occurred. They encourage people of all ethnic groups to come to the area and to shop. They don’t want this widely publicized incident to stop people from traveling to Switzerland for business or for leisure. They apologized that her feelings were hurt and said that isn’t how they expect any store owner or employee to treat visitors.
Winfrey says that she does accept the apology, but doesn’t feel it was a misunderstanding. She said that she didn’t throw a fit in the store and that she doesn’t like to play the race card. Always one with a smile and humor, Winfrey said the clerk actually did her a favor. She said the woman prevented her from spending $38,000 on a handbag that day! Winfrey also said that she enjoyed her travels to Switzerland to attend the wedding of Tina Turner.