Oprah Gets Apology for Racist Shopping Encounter
August 09, 2013
Oprah Winfrey has received an apology for a recent shopping incident in Switzerland in which a shop worker told the billionaire media mogul that she would "not be able to afford" a handbag she asked to look at.
Oprah exclusively explained the encounter to ET's Nancy O'Dell on Monday, saying it happened when she left her hotel in Zurich to go shopping while she was visiting Switzerland for the recent wedding of music legend Tina Turner.
She said she was denied service at the high-end handbag store when the clerk commented that Winfrey would not be able to afford the $38,000 bag she had asked to see. She said she ultimately left the store without making a fuss, deciding it was better to leave empty-handed than give the employee a sales commission.
"We are very sorry for what happened to her, of course, because we think all of our guests and clients should be treated respectfully, and in a professional way," Daniela Baer, a spokeswoman for the Swiss tourism office, told the Associated Press on Friday. The tourism office also posted an apology on Twitter, saying the shop salesperson "acted terribly wrong."
Shop owner Trudie Goetz told the BBC that an assistant had shown Winfrey several other items before the "misunderstanding" over the bag, which was kept behind a screen. Goetz was quoted as saying that she was "truly sorry" for the incident because her staff members are trained to treat all customers well.
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