Monday, August 12, 2013

Sales Person Says Oprah Is Lying - Feels Powerless

Oprah caused an international incident last week and got herself an apology from the Swiss government after Oprah said that she was discriminated in Switzerland because of her race. In case you did not hear the story, Oprah asked to see a purse that cost about $40K. Oprah says the sale person told her it was too expensive for Oprah to afford and would not show it to her. Oprah says it was because of her race and complained and the Swiss government apologized. Oprah had previously accused Hermes of racism, but they say their refusal to serve Oprah was because their shop was closing and in France, they do not stay open late for anyone.

The sales person who is accused of being racist is Italian and says that Oprah is lying and that the wave of charges and hatred against the sales person is overwhelming and that she feels powerless. She says that she showed Oprah bags from the Jennifer Aniston collection. Wait. Jennifer Aniston sells bags? Uggh. Oprah pointed out the now infamous bag and the salesperson said that it was just like the bag she was holding, but much more expensive. The sales person insists she did offer to let Oprah see it.

76 comments:

DewieTheBear said...

Friends over there tell me no one believes Oprah's story. Zurich is one of the snottiest cities around, for any visitor. Race has nothing to do with it.

Nutty_Flavor said...

Wouldn't a store like this have a security camera that could give us some confirmation of Oprah's story, or the clerk's? Given that it's Switzerland, the security camera is probably HD and we can read their lips.

Vanessa said...

TBH, it's not like she's going to admit that she was an ass to someone because the person didn't look like they belonged in the store.

Why would Oprah asked to see a Jennifer Aniston bag...her whole story doesn't make sense. If she offered oprah to see the more expensive bag ( I think it was a fendi bag) why was she showing her the cheaper bag.

The salesperson is just trying to save her ass because she didn't realize that this would blow-up.

amanda_jf said...

I don't imagine it was anything other than racism. Oprah isn't stupid enough to identify an actual store without cause for fear of lawsuits against her, or worse - bad publicity! The impression I get from some of these European countries e.g Italy and France, is that tensions are high due to mass immigration, so I could believe this story to be true.

timebob said...

I still think it has nothing to do with race. I think it has to do with the fact when Oprah isn't in full hair and make up she looks like an average middle aged woman. The saleswoman didn't want to show it to her becuase of fears of Oprah doing a grab and dash.

But everybody knows the richest dress the worst. Becuase they can, Richard Branson doesn't wear shoes to meetings becuase he doesn't have to.


I was in a furniture store looking to buy a chest of drawers. All the salespeople ignored me because, I admit, i was dressed slightly better than a homeless person. Not until I pulled out my gold amex, then I was treated with some respect. And i'm white.

It's about being elitest not racist.

The store owner also said the woman didn't understand english and speaks italian.

Great point nutty, if there is video they should show it. Oprah said she was doing sign language to get the bag and the woman refused saying it was too expensive. Can easily be proven or disproven either way.

Renoblondee said...

I also had no idea Jennifer had a line of bags. Huh.

discoflux said...

Maybe the chick was just trying to save her some money, damn. If I was looking at a $10K purse and my salesperson was all "Hey, there's one exactly like that over here for way cheaper," I'd be stoked.

Sorry you get mad because someone tried to keep you from overspending, Oprah.

hollywood dime said...

Jennifer Aniston does NOT have a line of bags. Tom Ford has a line of bags and a few of them are named "the Jennifer' bag after Aniston.

It's the sales persons job to make the sale period, not to dissuade a customer from buying a high priced item. Until you walk around with skin that is NOT white, no one can tell a person of color what their living, breathing experience with racism is or isn't.

FS said...

Yeah, like Oprah was going to 'dash' anywhere. ;)

Nosy_Canuck said...

My understanding is that this is a Tom Ford bag, that he made for Jennifer Aniston. I don't think it's 'her' design.

I digress.

I agree that this sales person was likely on the snotty side, given the trend of how european retailers treat people. Lady O was probably expecting a red carpet on her arrival, so was likely turned off by being treated like any other rich person who would shop there - a high-end boutique.

I have read some biographies on Oprah - she's vile and this is in line with the stunts she pulls and what she has become. She was supposed to be there to celebrate Tina's wedding, and instead had to make this all about her. If she had any shame, she should be embarrassed.

John said...

OPRAH IS NOT A LIER... SHE IS A DAMNED LIER.

Just a week or so ago she claimed more than a million blacks heard the word nigger when lynched. But, the Tuskegee Institute (who keeps history on such things) says few than 5,000 have been lynched in the US since the end of the Civil War. And, about 25% of those lynched were white.

Black racists are the worse kind.

K said...

Shut up, @John. I can't even form a coherent comment other than please keep that crap of CDAN.

John said...

K, you ignorant slut. Read Oprah's Nation interview. Go to the Tuskegee Institute web site. Keep your ignorance off CDAN.

LadyWawa said...

I love it when a bigot tries to make a point, but gives away his ignorance in the process. What exactly is a damned LIER? A person who lies down as they are condemned in the process? LMAO

K said...

Wow John, you sure did show me with that 1970s SNL burn. Sad.

Eros said...

I agree.

Diana Maras said...

Anyone who plays the race card is a pathetic moron. Hell, anyone who is a fan of Oprah is a pathetic moron. Seriously, people, can't you keep your self-loathing to yourself?

annabella said...

@John, the fact that you can't even spell 'liar' correctly says it all.

if you see the interview, the reporter (use the term loosely, as it was nancy o'dell) asked oprah if she had ever been called the n word. oprah then went on to say that she'd experienced racism and to tell the story. she didn't say the name of the store.

for all of you who are calling bs on her story, have you heard that asylum seekers are now banned from being in certain public places - swimming pools, libraries, school playgrounds, and that this is supported by the head of the swiss office of immigration?

yeah, doesn't really support the notion that racism doesn't exist in switzerland.

read about it here:
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/swiss-introduce-apartheidlike-restrictions-local-authorities-ban-asylum-seekers-from-public-places-8750765.html

Gayeld said...

Have the two of you considered marriage counseling?

Amartel said...

Oprah's got a movie out so she's promoting her particular brand of racial healing, which is basically mean white people won't let Lady Bountiful shop. Bleh. Like black people are the only people who get attitude in shops. She's pulled this crap before. If she really wanted that bag she could have just bought it but noooooo.
Also, John does have a point about her exaggerating and exploiting racial history for dramatic effect. Speak the truth or don't speak and definitely don't presume to lecture if you don't know the facts. Oprah is such a tool.

Michael said...

"I still think it has nothing to do with race. I think it has to do with the fact when Oprah isn't in full hair and make up she looks like an average middle aged woman. The saleswoman didn't want to show it to her becuase of fears of Oprah doing a grab and dash." - So, I'm supposed to believe that all middle aged women who shop with no makeup are suspected of a grab and dash? Um, yeah, OK.

Sherry said...

Oprah has been known to get in a snit over perceived slights. She wasn't given what she wanted at UAL years ago and refuses to board the airline.

Let's be clear: Racism is real ya'll. Was it racism, elitism or a language issue? Certainly, as Nutty pointed out, a security camera can shed some light on the situation.

Patty said...

I was in Walgreens on Saturday. Had to buy an umbrella for a team trip my daughter was going on within 30 minutes. Asked the salesperson if they had any. She said she had to take me to their secret place. The side storeroom where the display of inxpensive unbrellas was. She said they had some out on the floor, but they were $5 more than then ones she was showing me. She then went on to say that she treats customers' money like it was her own and why should I overpay when I don't need to.

Sorry this isn't too related to the post, but I couldn't help of think of that Walgreens clerk while reading this and wanted to give her some props!

Carry on.

figgy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

I don't believe Oprah, I believe the salesperson.

The Dude said...

Isn't this an old story? Has it resurfaced or happened again? Sounds like a whole lot of race baiting to me, imho..

figgy said...

My one experience with Oprah: 1987, she was just starting to get big, but not there yet. I was working at the Chicago Tribune, and we had an employee conference. Oprah was to be the inspirational speaker; mind you, this was before she became so inspiring and all, at that point she was doing schlocky shows. But she was a local celebrity.

So she finally appears, very late. She's all flustered, walks up on stage, and goes, into the microphone, "now WHO are you? What group is this? The...what? The Chicago Tribune? Oh okay, the newspaper right. Wow, you sure are a lot of white people. I don't see hardly ANY black faces out there." (Insert awkward chuckles, including from a black colleague next to me who was just shaking his head.)

Yes, oddly, there were actually quite a lot of blacks working at the CT, so I don't know what that was about. Yes, this could have been played as a humorous comment...it wasn't. She seemed very serious. She had been hired to talk on the subject at hand, whatever that was. She ignored it and began talking about race and racism in America. She basically lectured us for about three minutes, then left. Oh, and said before getting off stage, "no autographs." We were all like, "um no problem bitch. Didn't want your autograph anyway."

Ever since then, I've not been able to stand Oprah. And yes, I think she carries a HUGE chip on her shoulder about perceived racism, even when it's not there.

PugsterMom said...

Oprah will do anything for attention and she doesn't care who she hurts along the way.

Kaltes Klares Wasser said...

I am as white as it gets and I am so sure i would not get that bag, even if I walked in with 40k worth of clothing and jewellery on me. I lived in Zurich and race is only an issue if you are eastern European.

Kaye said...

Yeah, I lived in Zurich and I know that store. The salesperson probably thought she was going to steal the bag, they have very good trick thieves in Switzerland.

MISCH said...

Funny, I once heard a saleslady at Chanel say "you just don't know who has money anymore , no one dresses these days." And that was in New York...
P.S I was buying a wallet as a gift for a good friend...Ugh !

AKM said...

figgy, I totally believe you, and I agree with your last sentence, too.

greenmountaingal said...

Oprah is a jackass. She claimed the same thing a couple of years ago at Hermes in Paris. I can't stand her self important, egotistical ass

Susan said...

"Funny, I once heard a saleslady at Chanel say "you just don't know who has money anymore , no one dresses these days." And that was in New York...
P.S I was buying a wallet as a gift for a good friend...Ugh !"

That is such an interesting anecdote. And it would annoy the piss out of me, too. But it's probably true.

Seriously. Anytime I walk into Tiffany's, Chanel, Louis, etc., etc., NOBODY and I mean NOBODY pays attention to me. Probably because my jewels aren't Fifth Avenue and my shoes are Nine West. Don't get me wrong. It's not like I'm frequenting these types of shops very often (I wish!), but snooty salespeople are the norm in fancy pancy shops. At least that's how it seems. If Oprah wants the star treatment, she should call ahead and say she's coming in. Oprah annoys the piss out of me. Terrible interviewer, too.

Good customer service is so rare these days - and I worked a long stint in retail - so I always try to give the sales peeps my patience and the benefit of the doubt. But, this is why online shopping is such a boon. Who wants to deal with some douchy sales associate who usually bungles store policies and judges you on whatever transaction you're making. Eff that.

Susan said...

I also wanted to add that I don't understand Oprah's point in getting the Swiss government to apologize to her. Other than causing a media hoopla, what does this accomplish?

Eros said...

Wow, dude, youre a fricken idiot. You should shut up while you're ahead.

Btw, i don't consider myself an oprah fan but she pulled herself to billionaire status by her own bootstraps using intellect and charisma. She didnt do porno, screw powerplayers etcetera. A woman with intellect such has hers is sharpwitted enough to avoid publicity that might besmirch her reputation. So when she steps out like this with an accusation, theres got to be some level of truth to it. She gains nothingby coming out with this story. Its negatove pr.

kpist said...

I would have been inclined to believe Oprah if she had not just made crazy statements comparing Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till, and has a movie about racism coming out. It seems too coincidental.

Layna Day said...

Many of you are allowing your personal feelings against Oprah overlook the possibility that something like this could have happened. It happens every day, to all sorts of people, and it's always wrong.

Anabella pointed out how terrible Switzerland is planning to treat immigrants within its borders. It's not a stretch to treat a customer in a store 'where they do not belong' in similar fashion.

Oprah did not name the store in her interview. She simply said she went to buy a purse and was denied access to it.

If I'm treating poorly in a store, they're not about to get my money. So the idea that Oprah should have bought the bag anyway is puzzling. Why award the abuse you just took?

What does Oprah have to gain by lying about something like this? She's OPRAH. She carries herself like the Grand Poobah, but it's been earned legitimately. She's one of the world's richest women. The risk/award for something like this, if she was discovered to have lied about it, would be awful. Her network is just starting to turn a profit. Do you really think she's going to risk her fortune over being snubbed about a handbag? REALLY?

IMO, something unsavory went down between Oprah and the sales clerk. What that was, I don't know. I wasn't there. But I don't assume she's lying about it. What would be the point?

Racism continues to exist, even for rich people of color. Just because some of you don't want to buy into it due to your Oprah hate doesn't make it so.

lazyday603 said...

Oprah is famous from being on American TV. Why would anybody in Europe recognize her? "Didn't I see you in the movie 'Beloved'"? She hasn't done enough movies to be recognizable outside the United States.

Sarah said...

Free publicity for The Butler

Count Jerkula said...

@Eros: Closest Oprah could get to going the porno route would be mopping jack shack booth floors.

No one wants to see that naked.

Layna Day said...

The Oprah Winfrey Show was aired in over 150 countries, though dubbed in that country's native language.

It would be hard not to know Oprah, even if she's not on our TV screens every day no.

gr8p said...

She's still a fool. A handbag worth 10s of thousands and the commission on it would have been pretty good and this idiot refuse to show it. I don't understand the point of working in a boutique that sells handbags at those prices and hiring an idiot shop assistant who too stupid to understand that if someone wants to buy it, then FUCKING GET THE HANDBAG DOWN. Dumb, dumb, dumb And who the fuck stocks Jennifer Aniston handbags in a high end boutique?

Rach Around said...

When we saw this story on the telly, my hubby commented the shop broad probably didn't know who the fuck Oprah was because she wasn't a middle class white American sycophant chick who bought books based on Oprah's fucking book club. What a cunt though. Really.

Rach Around said...

Timebob : I have been treated thusly by snooty birds in boutiques because I have piercings and tattoos. I also have a well paying corporate job which allows me to purchase designer items. I just don't feel the need to trapse around with a rip off Coach bag and juicy courture duds when shopping. Real style means you don't need the designer name emblazoned across it. And I have pulled a Pretty Woman on their asses too. Big. Fucking. Mistake.

Rach Around said...

Exactly Nutty. Liar liar pants on fire.

Rach Around said...

Discoflux: that chick was working on commission. I'd pull out the higher priced bag. Unless I were a snooty, superficial, racist, glorified pervayor of stuff I can't afford.

Ivana Hump said...

All the money in the world could knock that chip off oprahs shoulder. I'm sure people have been rude to her her whole life but I think it's more because she's an asshole. Terrence Howard too.

8=====D - RememberKermitGosnell said...

This is what you Americans have done with racism:
-An African-American/European/African... kills someone and is jailed: Racism.
-Some spoiled rich African-American/European/African's whim is not satisfied: Racism.
-You say I'm a bad professional: Racism.

You remind me of Ali G: "Is it because I is black?".

Ivana Hump said...

Couldn't knock the chip off, rather

Amartel said...

Layna, I take your valid point that a store that discriminates isn't going to get my money. (But if I had Oprah dough I'd buy the whole store and fire the discriminator, but whatevs, that's just me.) I don't have any investment in Oprah, never watched her show, neither "hate" nor "love" the woman. I just know about her from what is said on places like this one. She's got a personality cult and does a lot of public and emotional charity work and hosts a show where quacks try to talk common sense into stupid/lonely/crazy people. She plays wise black ladies in the movies. I salute her financial success. She does have a history of exploiting racial incidents then engaging in cloying self-promoting "conversations" about it. Comparing Trayvon Martin to Emmett Till is just nauseating. Exaggerrating lynchings, grotesque. (Especially when in the same conversation she says kids today don't know anything about history.) Throwing down the race card, and automatically and unquestioningly adopting racial bullshit as "truth" and parroting it all over the media gets her attention and relevance. "Racism exists" does not per se mean racism existed in this case, no more so on the saleslady's part than on Oprah's part. To me, the most likely scenario is that Oprah was offended at being mistaken for some middle class regular person. The AUDACITY of that little salesgirl, showing Oprah the Jennifer Aniston purse!!! As if.

BusyBee said...

Wow, I don't have any money and every time I'm in NYC I go to all of the expensive stores and everyone is more than happy to help me. Maybe it's the "oh crap I can't believe I'm in here" look on my face and they are just having fun with the person who is in awe at all the pretty things. :-)

888 said...

If immigrants don't like how they're treated in the west they can fuck right off back to the shit holes they slithered out of. I am sick to death of the richest, most generous race on the planet constantly being called racist for helping the ungrateful, stupid minorities. They need white people or they would die since they are literally too stupid to act like human beings. Asian countries for Asians, African countries for Africans and white countries for everyone...but whites ae the racists. Uh huh. Until you create a successful country you need to sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up and be grateful that your useless parasitical asses are allowed into our countries. Not that anyone asked us if we wanted to import millions of literally retarded (avg IQ 85...and that's being generous) subhuman parasites ito our once safe, orderly countries. I will never allow any of you ivory tower limousine liberal assholes to shame me into sitting silently by and watching the minorities ruin the civilized world. Sorry that you can't handle that but...well fuck you. Who cares?

B626 said...

Yup PR for the movie, that's all.

Rach Around said...

John, as soon As I read "lier" I knew you were an illiterate cunt scraping and ceased reading. FFS man, you probably overrode your spell check for that one!

Essie said...

The job of a salesperson is to SELL and you can't sell anything if you are nasty to the customers. This salesperson is telling a different story from the story she first told. I'm glad she's getting flack for this because she is a total idiot. You should be nice to everybody who walks into your store, no matter what they look like.

Rach Around said...

*high fives Hollywood dime*

Rach Around said...

John, get your dick outta your mum's mouth and go do some basic literacy course. You're fucking embarrassing dude!

Rach Around said...

Ha ha Gayeld! I won't even poke fun at your name for that gem!

Rach Around said...

Yup @ Sherry.

Rach Around said...

Busy Bee you must have great tits then. I've worked in retail as a law student and had my fill of snooty bitches but I still get treated like a skid mark in some higher end boutiques based on superficial judgements

Rach Around said...

Immigrants? I do believe to begin with, 888, they were slaves.

Cee Kay said...

Oprah can cry elitism, IF the woman didn't want to show her the bag as she alleges. But I think she's just a little too quick to presume racism.

abob said...

I looked in a Chanel window in Cannes once, and the look I got for that audacity pretty much knocked me back down to the coalface of my granddad's pit.

I believe in this instance it was elitism, if she looked richer they would have been nicer, same if they spoke the same language.

Switzerland is perfectly happy to welcome immigrants to live and work and pay tax, then fuck right off once their visa's over.

Upside Downunder said...

I have to work at not letting those like Orca turn me into a total racist. Lock me in a room with her and Kanye and I am sure I would be putting on a white robe soon enough. I know,terrible, but she just bugs the shit out of me.

NaughtyNurse said...

Sounds to me like the salesperson was trying to be helpful by showing a customer a much less expensive bag that was nearly identical to the ridiculously overpriced bag Oprah had her eye on. Also sounds like Oprah was being the pretentious snob she has proven to be over the past several years. Whatever. I lost respect for Oprah a looooong time ago.

Nosy_Canuck said...

I totally forgot about this:

http://oprahscrusade.blogspot.ca

Europe isn't safe. Where should her terror rain down on next?

auntliddy said...

Good comments except for gratitious anti immiga hate. Yes, i do think it was racial, but also, maybe o did look like middleaged lady just killing time, but you never know, so show her the frigging bag!!!!! The huge thing I cant get iver is, A $ 40000 BAG!!!??????? ARE YOU F*CKING SERIOUS???????? Woman please, get a hold of yourself!!!!!!!! If you are dopey enough to spend that on a PURSE, you deserve anything you get. Its insane. No one else flashing on that????? Its what some oeople make in a year!!!

Masha M said...

when it comes to sales, there shouldn't be any misunderstanding on the treatment of a customer especially if you are selling high ticket items.

part of elitism is how you look like and blacks are not considered elites in europe.

Aoife said...

So a middle aged black woman, on the chunky side, walks into an upscale shop in Zurich Switzerland and the clerk automatically thinks she's there to steal. Apparently some of the posters here would have if they'd been the sales clerk. Add the fact that the middle aged black woman was dressed down and not in full hair and makeup and of course she's got to be a thief. Or unable to afford a $40g bag.

If the store clerk is saying she showed Oprah a "Jennifer Aniston" bag not a Tom Ford bag she's lying through her teeth IMO. An upscale clerk would call it a Tom Ford bag.

Personally I've never been able to stand Oprah. I never watched her show and I never went for her "I'm here to help you" schtick. What happened to her is racial profiling, something people of European descent don't have to deal with. If Richard Branson walked in with no shoes on the clerk would've fallen over herself to help him so stop asking how the clerk would've known Oprah wasn't a thief.

**climbing down from soap box**

Goodnight said...

@Aoife

It's CLASS profiling, not racial profiling. You can bet your ass that if a chunky middle-aged white/asian/mixed race, dressed down woman had walked into the store and asked to see the 40k bag she would have done the exact same thing. I'm not sure that she feared the bag would be stolen so much as she assumed her time was being wasted. It's wrong, and I absolutely hate when shop assistants give you the 'you can't afford what we're selling' treatment, but I absolutely believe it's a class thing rather than race.

Oprah said she was dressed nicely in Donna Karen, but DK isn't quite on the same level as Chanel or Armani. If she'd been dressed in gorgeous designer clothes I'm also pretty sure she would have been shown the bag.

For the record, I don't hate Oprah. I just don't think this is a racial thing. I'm white and I've experienced a ton of class-based shop assistant prejudice because I dress down and look much younger than I am.

babo said...

I have a hard time believing Oprah. I was in Zurich in July as well and they re very happy to help rich foreigners spend their money and they have people from every country and race living there permanently. But they re more conservative and standoffish in their manners.
Not quite as vile as a shopping assistant in Rodeo Drive must be when they see Oprah walking in with her entourage. Sales assistants in the US are way over the top sycophant when they think they ll close a sale. In Zurich, much less. It s not how things are done.
Oprah not being recognized and her not getting the full fawning over her treatment were probably the cause ... Also, Tina Turner has been living there for 20+ years, has she ever complained of racism or racial discrimination?

Eros said...

Lol true to a degree but you'd be surprised at the weird porn out there or so I've heard.;)

Id wager there's a market for oprah porn even that is a rather frightening thought/image.

Deborah Frueh said...

Oprah has jumped the shark

Count Jerkula said...

Oprah couldn't jump an earthworm.

kit said...

As a black woman who's spent time in Europe:

- class and elitism reign
- followed by nationalism
- black people are automatically NOT in the right class
- therefor she 'couldn't afford the bag' and was 'wasting time'
- therefore, she was not afforded the same customaries that someone of white ilk dressed appropriately would have received
- possibly, she was not just treated snobbily, but in fact actually treated poorly

When that happens, and it has happened, plenty of times, from Switzerland to Italy to Austria to Germany...to Australia... I pull out an AMEX card of a metal-colored type, wave it. That gets a change of attitude you wouldn't believe.

I then turn around and walk out.

ps. One time, someone asked me, upon seeing the platinum AMEX, asked me 'Is that really your card?' I lit up like a firecracker at that point.

Then walked out.