Don't you just love Oprah Winfrey? She is rarely on television in the UK these days but Brits grew to love Oprah when her show was compulsive viewing some years back. One thing the woman obviously has is standards. After a great deal of media hype and frenzy following an alleged racist snub in Switzerland, Oprah has put the record straight.
The snub in an upmarket shop was not racist but rather class and money orientated.
Ms. Winfrey recalls the incident when she was in an upmarket shop in Switzerland and judged on her appearance. Oprah was dressed down and obviously did not look as if she could afford the 38,000 US dollar (£24,600) bag, she wanted to look at closely.
This could have happened to you or me, black or white, yellow or mixed but not of course if you were showing visible signs of wealth. According to MSN News Winfrey said:
""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, speaking at the premier of The Butler.
She went on: "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," she said 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."
Well said, Oprah.
She was judged and found lacking by a snooty shop assistant who had no idea she was a very wealthy celebrity. That happens to people all the time, but it should not.
Have you ever visited Switzerland? We enjoyed a brief vacation there in the 90's. At that time Switzerland was a fresh country with beautiful lush scenery, cleaner than clean air, stunning lakes and yes, expensive stores.
We did not dare step a foot into the poshest stores dotted around Lake Lucerne. We were not dressed for the challenge either. We did not have Ms. Winfrey's confidence gained by being lauded elsewhere because of her celebrity status.
No doubt Switzerland is still the same in many ways but it is a great place to visit.
Toilets in cafes and bars have displays of flowers and are scrupulously clean. Ashtrays were even available in toilet facilities but smokers needed to take care. Discard a cigarette butt outdoors, not in a bin, and you could be fined or arrested. Jail terms were not costly for the Swiss as you served your time and then worked to pay for your prison stay.
Suffice to stay the prisons were underused. Traffic which stopped at a red light, for example, did not emit damaging fumes as it was law that the engine was switched off. Refuse to obey and you could be accommodated in the near empty prisons. Get the picture?
Did we like Switzerland? We loved it!
Thanks Oprah for putting the record straight.
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