Oprah Apologizes For Racism Allegations Against Switzerland
The fallout from Oprah Winfrey's run-in with a Swiss handbag store continues.
After Winfrey claimed on Entertainment Tonight that a shop assistant in Switzerland had racially profiled her, insisting she couldn't afford a pricey handbag, Swiss media unveiled the store's identity — and made it the target of a media frenzy. "I'm really sorry that it got blown up," Winfrey told press Monday.
Switzerland isn't exactly known for being racially tolerant. Winfrey made the remarks in response to the recent passing of a law that has designated dozens of "refugee-free" spots in the Swiss town of Bremgarten. Switzerland's been condemned for its xenophobic culture for years, and hasn't exactly made a huge effort to change things around. (We're being kind; try "no effort.")
Last week, Winfrey told ET:
Oprah didn't name the store, but a local paper unveiled that it was called Trois Pommes. The sales assistant in question, who has worked there for five years, promptly fought back. “I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never," she told a Swiss paper. “I don't know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl. I don't know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV."
The anonymous assistant hadn't known who Winfrey was when she entered the store, but insists that she didn't racially profile the superstar.
On Monday, Winfrey responded:
Swiss officials have repeatedly and publicly apologized to Winfrey for her alleged treatment, though Winfrey says apologies from the entire country are kind of unnecessary. The refugee law, however, still stands.