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Oprah Winfrey: Swiss Apologize For Her Brush With Racism

Sat, August 10, 2013 12:24pm EDT by 42 Comments
Oprah Winfrey Racism

The Swiss Tourism office is reeling after Oprah recently recounted an unbelievable experience in a Zurich boutique where she was racially profiled. Even the store owner is begging for forgiveness!

Even people outside of the United States should know — you never cross Oprah Winfrey. An upscale shop in Zurich, Switzerland — and the entire country in general — is feeling the blowback after the billionaire media mogul revealed a racist encounter she experienced while visiting the country in July.

Oprah: Racially Profiled At A Zurich Boutique?

The Swiss Tourism board is down on their knees apologizing to Oprah after she had a disturbing, racist encounter while shopping at Trois Pommes, a fancy boutique in Zurich.

Oprah revealed that she had asked to see a $38,000 purse, but the store clerk refused to show it to her. “She says, ‘No, it’s too expensive,'” Oprah told Entertainment Tonight. “She said, ‘No, no, no, you want to see this one because that one will cost too much. You won’t be able to afford that one.'” Those are words Oprah likely hasn’t heard in decades!

Oprah continued to tell her story of seemingly shocking discrimination: “She refused to get it… she said, ‘I don’t want to hurt your feelings,’ and I said, ‘Okay, thank you so much, you’re probably right I can’t afford it.’ Now why does she do that?”

Oprah says she left without making a scene, but telling the story of her disturbing experience has been enough to get the Swiss’ attention!

Switzerland Asks Oprah Winfrey For Forgiveness

Shortly after her interview on ET, the Swiss Tourism office did a mea culpa to try to clear things up and reverse the bad PR. “We are fuming — this person acted terribly wrong. We are sorry this happened to @oprah!,” the board tweeted on August 8.

Only Oprah could command an entire country to ask for forgiveness.

As for the Trois Pommes’ owner, Trudie Goetz is sorry, but she claims that the whole thing was a huge misunderstanding. “This is an absolute classic misunderstanding, Trudie told Reuters. “Of course that’s not the case [that she was racial profiling]. Who wouldn’t want to sell a purse for 35,000 francs?”

Trudie claims that the clerk simply had poor English, and was just trying to show Oprah more options.

In the end, Oprah wouldn’t have wanted the purse anyways! On August 9, the 59-year-old tweeted, “Turns out that store clerk did me a favor. Just found out that bag was 38K!!! She was right I was NOT going to buy.”

The Swiss’ apology efforts must have worked — Oprah seems to be taking the incident in good humor now.

What do you think about all this, HollywoodLifers? Let us know!

WATCH: Oprah On Being A Victim Of Racism

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— Andrew Gruttadaro

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  3. Paula Deen Sobs In ‘Today’ Show Interview: I’m Not A Racist