Oprah Winfrey Apologizes For Switzerland Racism Story

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Oprah Winfrey says she's "sorry" for the media frenzy she triggered after she said in an interview that she experienced racism during a trip to Switzerland.

The talk show queen said she never intended this to be a big story:

"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. 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."

Winfrey recalled in a sit-down with ET that a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique once refused to show her a handbag, unaware of who she was.

Oprah, who earned $77 million over the last fiscal year, said she was told matter-of-factly several times that she could not afford the $38,000 purse.

"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," she lamented of the implied racism.

"I didn't have anything that said 'I have money': I wasn't wearing a diamond stud. Didn't have a pocketbook. Didn't wear Louboutin shoes. Didn't have anything."

"I'm in a store and the person doesn't obviously know that I carry the black card and so they make an assessment based upon the way I look and who I am."

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner quickly apologized.

Oprah Winfrey insists there's no need to do so, however.

"It's not an indictment against the country or even that store," she continued. "It was just one person who didn't want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag."

"So no apologies necessary from the country of Switzerland. If somebody makes a mistake in the United States do we apologize in front of the whole country? No!"

As for whether her new project Lindsay Lohan can keep it clean or Kris Jenner's Oprah Afro requires an apology ... we'll leave that up to you to decide.

In Oprah's case, some have criticized her words as empty, alleging that she HAD to know this would cause a controversy and isn't sorry at all.

What do you think of Winfrey's comments on the matter?


Why should Oprah apologise. She is he victim not the perpetrator. She has been stereotyped and insulted. It's Switzerland that should be on their knees asking for forgiveness. The country is a disgrace.

@ Bob Done

Oh, so youve been a witness of that conversation!?
Greetings Form Berlin (Germany)


FAT OPRAH is a black,liberal elitist pig who basically bankrolled and helped get the Nghr n thief bawok O D'bag elected in 2008.She was probably jealous of all the thin,swiss white honeys and decided she'd git even-wit-dem-bishes fo not bowing down to her 400lb self.


So stupid,,it's not a race issue,,,heck what is it when I'm told the same thing? So it's only wrong to say no if a person is of a different color than the clerk? It's ok to say no to someone of the same race,,,what gives? Oprah I hope these aren't your true colors on how you view anyone different than you


When I wrote my first comment I thought I'd try to bring a measure of reason to this board. First time here, so I wasn't aware of the fact that those comments were very representative of the usual level of comments over here... Hence, I'll abstain from further comments to not force you m*r*ns out of your comfort zones...


Oprah please don't apologize, you are a spokesperson for your race. You get everything you can from white people and then you play the race card. You are a racist Oprah and we all know it




Oh my, the two posters below seem incredibly well informed... Haling from Belgium at the border with the Netherlands, having lived in Germany, Switzerland and now France, and having travelled on all continents beside Antarctica, I can tell you that the Swiss are amongst the friendliest and most helpfull people around. Definitely the nicest in Europe (the worst being the French in my opinion, and I live here 3 years now for work), and very similar to the legendary friendlines of the Japanese (just came back from a holiday over there). In the USA people are friendly to your face as well, but in my experience (several times on busines trips and 2 holidays there) this always feels very forced. So my favourite place to live remains Switzerland, and except for France I rate Europe easily higher than the US as well. But don't take my word for it Heather, we're more than happy that misinformed people like you stay at the other side of the Pond...

Heather omalley

"Switzerland is a country full of arogant (sic) people. Hard core capitalism. They think that people from other countries are animals. There are much more beautiful places to go like France or Italy" France and Italy are both going down the tubes because of hard core socialism, and both are well known for their arrogant, racist population. She needs to stay in America and leave Europe to the Neanderthal Europeans.

@ Heather OMalley

Go comb your black boyfriend knots out of his hair. You have never been outside the beltway. The closet thing you have had that's French is French Fries.

@ Margie

In fact I'm sure she insists on calling her french fries "freedom fries"...


Switzerland is a country full of arogant people. Hard core capitalism. They think that people from other countries are animals. There are much more beautiful places to go like France or Italy.


Oprah Winfrey Biography

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Oprah Winfrey is a very famous talk show host. Maybe you have heard of her. She may not pump her own gas anymore, but she's extremely... More »
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Oprah Winfrey

Oprah Winfrey Quotes

I like money. It's good for buying things. What you want is money with meaning. Meaning is what brings real richness to your life.

Oprah Winfrey

Anyone that tells you that having your own private jet isn't great is lying to you.