Oprah ‘sorry’ for Switzerland’s flap

Oprah Winfrey arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels' The Butler" at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

Oprah Winfrey arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of “Lee Daniels’ The Butler” at the Regal Cinemas L.A. Live Stadium 14 on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

NICOLE EVATT,Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Oprah Winfrey says she’s “sorry” that a media frenzy emerged after saying she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

“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,” Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of “Lee Daniels: The Butler.”

“I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don’t expect that you would be able to be there,” she continued.

In recent interview with “Entertainment Tonight,” Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse.

“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,” said Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.

“I didn’t have anything that said ‘I have money.’ I wasn’t wearing a diamond stud. I didn’t have a pocketbook. I didn’t wear Louboutin shoes. I didn’t have anything,” said Winfrey on the red carpet. “You should be able to go in a store looking like whatever you look like and say, ‘I’d like to see this.’ That didn’t happen.”

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there’s no need.

“It’s not an indictment against the country or even that store,” she continued. “It was just one person who didn’t want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag. So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!”

“The Butler,” which opens Friday, documents the civil rights movement through the story of a butler who served in the White House for seven presidents.

  • barney fife

    Harpo is a racist cow.

  • LogicalLeo

    Well, our president apologizes to the rest of the world for things we as a country didn’t even do. But, back to the matter at hand. Just because the clerk told Oprah that she couldn’t afford the bag doesn’t make it a racist thing. The clerk would’ve probably done the same thing to anyone she didn’t know who wasn’t wearing millions in jewels or clothing. I don’t know where Oprah got that this was racism. Maybe that’s the feelings she has towards people of her race so she assumes that others do as well.

    • guest

      Well I guess if we then follow your logic we should not deduce that just in the few sentences you posted above that compare two unrelated issues- other than highly successful black people – that you are not racist.

      Just saying.

      • Christopher

        Oprah Winfrey connected the two when she became such a vocal supporter of Senator Obama and when she keeps delivering opinions based on no evidence of her claims. “They” even claim AMERICA is racist even though Obama was elected twice for President and Oprah had the most popular talk show. Racism isn’t dead but it is a non issue as we knew it. Content of character is the overriding tell now.

        • guest

          You are sure injecting a lot of pundit rhetoric over a simple article about Oprah saying she is sorry the issue got blow out of hand – almost like you can’t get past the issue – love the use of the word “THEY”.

          You content of character seems to be the over riding tell.
          I suggest you change the channel from Fox news.

    • TWBDB

      The fact is Pres Obama has never apologized for USA foreign policy: the real fact is it was the Republican spin machine which framed Obama’s initial efforts to repair relations with EU and other nations as ” the Apology Tour”. I’m sure Oprah got the idea this was racism from the same place most African American’s get the idea: from the years and years of actual racism they’ve endured. You don’t just turn that sensitivity off with a switch.

      • Christopher

        You’re living a delusion friend. He toured the Mid East apologizing for everything America has ever stood for. I know you mean well, but please do some of your own research and stop depending on what you heard someone else say.

        • TWBDB

          Christopher, there’s no need for me to perform post event research on the internet – I stayed current while the MidEast Tour was occurring. Reading the transcripts of interviews and speechs the Pres gave, watching news reports from the MIdEast on BBC, Al Jazeera, etc. I try to take the time to do that still, as much as I can: I refuse to depend on political spin, left or right, to dictate what I think

    • 1941641

      “Well, our president apologizes to the rest of the world for things we as a country didn’t even do.” Says who? Rushbo Limbaugh?

      At least Obama has traveled the world as a representative of the American people. Bush and Cheney are scared out of their own pants to travel in the world out there for fear of reprisals from the innocent people they bullied during their administration.

  • Pragmatic

    Hard to apologize for a foreign policy that doesn’t exist. FYI, how is his guy Morsi doing in Egypt? Though an apology for his lack of job creation and other domestic policy failures would be greatly appreciated. I do understand though that all of his failures can be laid at the feet of Bush. Or at least that has been the excuse thus far. I also guess that while he could have been Trayvon, he could just have easily been one of the attackers on the school bus in Florida. No presser for that though. Too funny, lame duck in less than 7 months.

    And lastly @ twit (twbdb) you say you do not listen to political spin but you read Al Jazeera? They definitely have no political, social or religious leanings do they? Last I heard they purchased Gore’s network based on “like minded” reporting. Definitely no agenda there.