Oprah Winfrey isn’t sorry for being miffed about the way she was treated at the Trois Pommes in Zurich, Switzerland. She’s also not sorry for using the story as an example of racism during her recent interview with Entertainment Tonight. She is, however, sorry she let viewers know the shop was in Switzerland because the goal was never to try and cause the business harm or the store clerk in question emotional distress.
Here’s a portion of the quote she gave prior to last night’s premiere of The Butler, as per CNN…
"I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland. I'm really sorry that it got blown up. I purposely did not mention the name of the store. I'm sorry that I said it was Switzerland. I was just referencing it as an example of being in a place where people don't expect that you would be able to be there."
During Oprah’s interview with ET last week, the OWN head talked about visiting Switzerland for Tina Turner’s wedding and shopping at an upscale boutique. She said she was interested in purchasing a handbag for $38,000, but the sales clerk told her it was “too expensive (for her)” and offered to show her others. The tale immediately set off a race between various media outlets to identify the shop and the specific clerk in question. Within days, several outlets determined it was the Trois Pommes in Zurich, a claim the owner later verified in a lengthy statement that stood by her employee and called the situation a “misunderstanding”. The Italian woman, identified only as Andrea, has also denied Oprah’s account, instead saying she didn’t get the bag out from behind the counter because it was exactly like the one she was already holding, only it was a different material.
We’ll never know exactly what happened in that store. In fact, it’s likely both women genuinely believe they’re in the right here. Perception is often just as important as fact in cases like this, but what is undeniable is the incredible influence Oprah still wields. There has been a lot of talk the past few years about her status shrinking a bit once her talk show ended and she moved into more of an executive role at OWN, but there are a lot of people who still really care about her viewpoint.
Whether Oprah and/ or the retail worker are owed more apologies or not, they don’t seem like they’re coming at this point. Consequently, it would definitely be in everyone’s best interests if all involved simply moved on. There’s really nothing left to discuss, and there’s no point in rehashing the same concerns over and over again. Here’s to hoping all involved realize as much and just drop it.