I’m a simple woman, you guys. I love cheese, Netflix, red wine, and watching people try to talk themselves out of a racist controversy. It’s good on so many levels — instigating more social awareness and the joy of watching someone try to insert their entire foot in their mouth. So, as you can imagine, I’m having the time of my life watching this Swiss saleslady digging herself into a deeper and deeper hole trying to convince the media that she didn’t discriminate against Oprah because she was black. She discriminated against her because she didn’t seem like she could afford the bag, duh! It wasn’t about the color of her skin, guys, she just looked poor, okay? Gosh, so touchy!
But like Paula Deen before her, the more this still-anonymous woman protests, the worse things get. Reponses and apologies (both pseudo and otherwise) have now been issued by the owner of the shop, the country of Switzerland, the saleslady, and all the way back to Oprah herself, who is giving a second statement in response to the saleslady feeling victimized. Or, cannibalized, rather. On the red carpet of the LA premiere of The Butler yesterday, Oprah said the following:
“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.”
Um, yeah! I think that’s a really good point! All she said was the country, and other people somehow figured out the store, and then the store’s owner kind of blew up her own spot by making an official comment. Bottom line, Oprah was pretty classy about bringing it up. It was just something she wanted to talk about, which would be her right even if she wasn’t famous, but especially because this incident has extensive tie-ins to important social dialogue. As she pointed out to CNN earlier on:
“Nobody’s gonna call me the N-word to my face unless they’re a thug on Twitter or Facebook. It doesn’t show up that way. It shows up for me differently: 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.”
Yup! It’s actually a really interesting conversation to have started, because Oprah gets so few opportunities (wrong word, but I hope you get my meaning) to see the true face of racism due to her stature and community standing. But it’s an important reminder that it’s still out there, so we can’t let our guard down. Especially when there’s a $38,000 bag on the line, cause don’t you guys work on commission??
(Image: Adriana M. Barraza / WENN.com)