• Tue, Aug 13 - 1:49 pm ET

Oprah Is Sorry This Handbag Thing Blew Up, But I’m Honestly Glad It Did

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)

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  • NOT IMPRESSED

    You are a retard

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      That is an inappropriate term, and I am NOT IMPRESSED by it.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      retard is not inappropriate. Tard comes from the Latin meaning late:tarde

      re means again, repeat, in Latin which combined with tarde means repeatedly late.

      That’s what slow means, doesn’t it? That’s what that stupid euphemism “mentally challenged” means, doesn’t it? They stick challenged in there to spin it a little. Just like Timberlake did with Janet Jackson’s breast showing as a “wardrobe malfunction.” All this is silly, and Timberlake made fun of it.

    • brit

      If someone called you something and it related to your insecurities, if someone wrote faggot on your locker, or if you had a sister that had Down syndrome, they become a lot more than words. You’re displaying indifference, apathy, and actually hatred. To you it’s not offensive, and yet you should respect that others do find it so for good reason. You wouldn’t say the f word around strangers especially to them, that’s inappropriate. You have no problem with a random stranger calling someone a derogatory term, it was malicious no matter the word.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      The PC word police are way out of hand. When everyone goes around spelling unallowed words and putting the first letter and &*$# after them reminds me of spelling in front of a child. It’s silly. Retarded is slow and slow again and again. Saying mentally challenged means the same and is a clumsy way of saying it. Yes you can joke and say mentally challenged with a lilt in your voice ha ha ha but that is faking it. Retarded is not the same as retard. Retard is an insult and is used as an insult when someone is being stupid about something. That’s all. Not a big deal.Oprah just isn’t used to that kind of thing. She is probably sensitive to it as she has about the most vile father I’ve ever had the unpleasure to catch on the internet. Really nasty and vile and unloving to her. He hates her success. Just vile.

      I am sure this woman was snotty as hell when she wouldn’t show her the bag and I am sure her attitude was worse than just not showing it to her. Now that I am no longer young and pretty I get it all the time. There is a hidden racism in the way you are treated when you are old. A contempt of you and what you say. It’s could be called ageism. Why not just think racism has many faces.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Why did you think you were supposed to be impressed with it?

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Because of the username.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Can we just do away with the word police also.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      I don’t know what you mean by this.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      The word police are those people who go around saying what words you can use and what words you can’t use. What is PC correct and what isn’t. It’s nonsense. IMO. Constant censoring. No wonder most people don’t get upset when the govt censors everything we say and write.

  • Whitney

    I am really glad she brought it up as well. I also appreciate her level-headness when talking about it. She speaks about the issues of racism rather than bashing the store or the sales woman.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Agreed!

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      I agree with MCR that it wasn’t racist but did she have the money.

  • MCR

    She’s still not seeing the “true face of racism!” She didn’t have to look “poor,” just not rich enough to buy a pocketbook for $38,000. Like almost everybody in Switzerland. Who’s offended by that assumption?

    Is this partly about some benighted foreigner not recognizing her famousness?

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Pretty sure that they’re still supposed to show you the bag, even if they don’t think you can afford it.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      “should”?

    • MCR

      That might equate to an inept or lazy salesperson. It doesn’t demonstrate racism. Maybe the girl usually refuses to show the super-expensive purse; possibly her boss even instructed her not to hand it around too much – I’ve known stores to do this with valuable items. Maybe she thought it was only fair to warn the customer that the purse was insanely overpriced. Maybe she didn’t recognize Oprah or care about her race, but dislikes Americans in general. The problem is, genuine instances of racism which do actual harm are ignored in favour of this petty nonsense.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      Well she made incorrect, preconceived notions about a customer, offending her in the process and costing the store a sale. Ultimately, I have to trust Oprah’s interpretation of the situation. She says she felt it was racism and I’ve found her to be an intelligent, rational human being in the past, so I choose to believe her. It’s not like she was attacked by the police or something or targeted by stop and frisk, no, but the point is, racism is still out there, on every level. It’s a pervasive thing and I think it’s important that we keep it a part of the conversation.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      Yes.

    • http://twilightirruption.blogspot.com/ abbeysbooks

      It’s about notty Uncle Tomasina white Swiss shopgirl not having the social skills required for a shop selling 38K handbags. WTF was Oprah doing there in the first place.

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      …going to Tina Turner’s wedding.

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