Billionaire U.S. media mogul Oprah Winfrey says she was the victim of racism on a recent trip to Switzerland when a shop assistant refused to show her a handbag because it was “too expensive.”
“I go into a store and say to the woman, ‘Excuse me, may I see that bag over your head?’ and she says to me ‘No, it’s too expensive.'”
Winfrey says she asked again to see the bag — a $38,000 crocodile skin number by Tom Ford — and the woman again refused, saying, “No no no, you don’t want to see that one, you want to see this one, because that one will cost too much and you will not be able to afford that.”
Winfrey chose not to identify the shop, but the name of the high-end boutique — Trois Pomme — was soon revealed. The shop’s manager told CNN the entire incident was a “200 percent misunderstanding” and had nothing to do with racism.
I – Word Understanding
Mogul – an important or powerful person, esp. in the motion picture or media industry
Racism – prejudice or discrimination directed against someone of a different race based on such a belief
High end – is something considered an expensive or extreme quality item
II – Have your say
1. Other options might have been to disregard the perceived slight or to directly handle the concerns with the store’s owner. Ms. Winfrey generated personal publicity and personal victim status.
2. White privilege means white people not having to understand subtle, everyday prejudice. I believe Oprah. As a black woman, she has likely had a lifetime of snubs based on race, even in her many years now of her celebrity and wealth.
3. Fast Fact about Oprah Winfrey.
Her net worth is estimated to be $2.8 billion, putting her at no.503 on the Forbes Billionaires list no. 2 of the World’s Most Powerful Celebrities.