Oprah Winfrey’s gripping tale of racism in Switzerland caught the attention of the entire world last week. However, the alleged racist claims the situation never happened.
Although Zurich boutique and Swiss tourism officials have apologized to Winfrey for the shop clerk’s behavior, the unidentified woman recently told Switzerland’s SonntagsBlick newspaper that she never treated the former talk show host with any disrespect.
“I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never. I don’t know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl,” she said in a translation provided by the Daily Mail.
Oprah Winfrey stopped by the posh Trois Pommes boutique while she was in Switzerland for Tina Turner’s wedding. When she asked to see a particular handbag that was locked away inside a case, the clerk reportedly refused to get it out.
“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,’” Oprah said during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
Despite Winfrey’s claims of racism, the shop girl doesn’t feel that she did anything wrong. The employee said she can’t understand why someone as great as Oprah would “cannibalize” her on national TV. Winfrey’s camp has yet to respond to clerk’s recent statements.
After news of the incident went viral, boutique owner Trudie Goetz said the whole thing was a misunderstanding. The Swiss Tourism Office later issued an apology to Winfrey in an effort to defuse the situation.
“Switzerland Tourism is deeply sorry to learn about the experience Ms. Winfrey recently had in Switzerland, and we apologize that her feelings were hurt. We would like to assure Ms. Winfrey — like any visitor to Switzerland – that she is welcome with open arms,” officials said in a statement.
What do you think about Oprah Winfrey and her encounter with a racism shop girl? Do you think it was a simple misunderstanding or did the clerk treat Oprah differently because she is black?