- The Washington Times - Friday, August 9, 2013

Racism is alive and well, said media mogul Oprah Winfrey in an interview this week on Entertainment Tonight. And as proof, she recounted her own recent Zurich, Switzerland, shopping shame when an upscale store retailer denied her an up-close look at a pricey handbag because, Ms. Winfrey accuses, of racism.

Ms. Winfrey said she approached the shop worker and asked to see a bag that was located behind the counter and was told, “No, it’s too expensive,” CBS reported.

She asked again to see the bag — twice more, she said. But each time, the worker refused and instead, suggested she look at other bags that were cheaper in price, CBS said.

“One more time, I tried. I said, ‘But I really do just want to see that one,’ and the shopkeeper said, ‘Oh, I don’t want to hurt your feelings,’ and I said, ‘OK, thank you so much. You’re probably right. I can’t afford it.’ And I walked out of the store,” Ms. Winfrey said, on “Entertainment Tonight.”

Mr. Winfrey then said she “could’ve had the whole blow-up thing and thrown down the black card, but why do that? But that clearly is, you know … it still exists,” she said, referring to what CBS inserted in the quote as “racism.” Ms. Winfrey then said: “Of course it does.”

Ms. Winfrey didn’t identify the shop, but other sources reported the name of the boutique. And since, the owner has apologized, calling the incident a “misunderstanding,” and adding — apparently as a reference to media reports about some stores using facial technology to recognize celebrities who enter and shop — “We don’t have facial recognition here,” CBS reported.


• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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