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Thread: Oprah Winfrey Accuses Trois Pommes Clerk of Discrimination, Brand Rep Denies It

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Oprah Winfrey Accuses Trois Pommes Clerk of Discrimination, Brand Rep Denies It

    It's hard to imagine someone not recognizing Oprah Winfrey -- but that's exactly what happened when the talk show host attempted to purchase a $35,000 Tom Ford bag at Trois Pommes in Switzerland last month.
    Speaking to Entertainment Tonight on Monday, Aug. 5, the 59-year-old star of Lee Daniels' The Butler said she was denied service because the sales clerk didn't believe she could afford such a pricey purse. "I was in Zurich the other day at a store, whose name I will not mention, and I didn't have my eyelashes on, but I was in full Oprah Winfrey gear," she recalled. "I had my little Donna Karan skirt and my little sandals and all that on, but obviously The Oprah Winfrey Show is not shown in Zurich. This doesn't happen to me unless somebody obviously doesn't know it was me."

    During her solo shopping trip, Winfrey asked the clerk to show her a luxury crocodile bag. "She says to me, 'No. It's too expensive.'" Winfrey asked to see it again, but the clerk once again denied her request, 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 then said, "'No, I really did want to see that one.' And she refused to get it!"
    The clerk proceeded to show Winfrey "these other little bags," but the star was unimpressed with the other options. "One more time, I tried. I said, 'But I really do just want to see that one.' And she said, 'Oh, I don't want to hurt your feelings.' I said, 'Okay, thank you so much. You're probably right. I can't afford it.' And I walked out of the store."


    After Winfrey told her BFF Gayle King about the experience, King said she would have returned to the store and caused a scene a la Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. The TV mogul, however, she didn't want to give the clerk commission.
    "I could have had the big blowup thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff," Winfrey said, "but why do that?"


    Trudie Goetz, head of the Swiss luxury chain Trois Pommes, denies that Winfrey was discriminated against because of her race. "This is an absolute misunderstanding," she tells Us Weekly in a statement. "Any sales person would love to sell a crocodile bag. She simply explained [to Oprah] that the bag she wanted to look at was beautiful but in a very high price range and suggested lower priced models in leather, ostrich and so forth."
    Goetz adds, "It was a misunderstanding. The staff member who welcomed Oprah is one of the hardest working and regularly deals with VIP clients. There was no discrimination."


    In a separate statement to the BBC, Goetz said the employee in question is of Italian descent. "Of course, she speaks English, but not as well as her mother tongue," she explained. "It was a real misunderstanding." (Ironically, both Winfrey and Goetz were guests at Tina Turner's wedding celebration that same weekend.)
    The Swiss Tourism Association also issued a statement saying it regrets the pain and embarrassment the experience caused Winfrey. "We are very sorry for what happened to her, of course, because we think all of our guests and clients should be treated respectfully, in a professional way," spokeswoman Daniela Baer told the Associated Press.


    Read more: Oprah Winfrey Accuses Store of Racism, Trois Pommes Rep Denies It - UsMagazine.com
    Follow us: @usweekly on Twitter | usweekly on Facebook



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    Elite Member dksnj's Avatar
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    Oh please, I'm not Oprah's biggest fan, but the idea that the clerk " simply explained [to Oprah] that the bag she wanted to look at was beautiful but in a very high price range and suggested lower priced models in leather, ostrich and so forth." is ridiculous. Especially if they do work on commission.
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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    If I'm on commission, I'm going to attempt to sell you the MOST expensive crap in the store, not discourage you from whipping out your Black Card.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I had my little Donna Karan skirt and my little sandals and all that on, but obviously The Oprah Winfrey Show is not shown in Zurich. This doesn't happen to me unless somebody obviously doesn't know it was me."


    just stop it right there. you were not wearing a 'little' donna karan skirt.



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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    "I could have had the big blowup thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff," Winfrey said, "but why do that?"

    Why not do that? Why wait and then whine in interviews? Be direct and deal with it right then and there or shut the hell up.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    This is what I imagine she wanted to say:

    "I could have had the big blowup thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff," Winfrey said, "but why do that
    when I can have my good friend Barack have the entire country of Switzerland designated an unlawful combatant?"

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    Elite Member HWBL's Avatar
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    Didn't she have a similar incident a few years back? That she wanted to shop after hours or something and was refused?
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    This shit happens all the time. I walked into a Dress Barn in Virginia with a friend of mine and it was the petite store. The sales clerk jumped up and sad "the plus sizes are next door". Um, petite means 5'4" and under you dumb bitch, and Kendra is not even that heavy, maybe a 12/14 petite. I was so fucking offended. So what if someone isn't a white girl who is a size 3, that doesn't mean we can't walk in the door without being accosted. What if we were looking for a gift for someone? I hate that profiling bullshit.
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    Elite Member Beeyotch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twitchy2.0 View Post
    "I could have had the big blowup thing and thrown down the black card and all that stuff," Winfrey said, "but why do that?"

    Why not do that? Why wait and then whine in interviews? Be direct and deal with it right then and there or shut the hell up.
    Cause she didn't want to give the clerk commission, but wanted to reserve the right to bitch. And I would have too.
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    Elite Member Sarzy's Avatar
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    That's so rude to suggest to anyone that they wouldn't be able to afford an expensive item in a shop.

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    Elite Member Brookie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greysfang View Post
    This shit happens all the time. I walked into a Dress Barn in Virginia with a friend of mine and it was the petite store. The sales clerk jumped up and sad "the plus sizes are next door". Um, petite means 5'4" and under you dumb bitch, and Kendra is not even that heavy, maybe a 12/14 petite. I was so fucking offended. So what if someone isn't a white girl who is a size 3, that doesn't mean we can't walk in the door without being accosted. What if we were looking for a gift for someone? I hate that profiling bullshit.
    Ugh, fucking horrendous. Seriously horrendous. What does anyone care what someone else is shopping for?

    We have a couple of high end designer items in our DSW - Gucci, Cole Haan. We don't carry a lot of the higher end names in our store - we're not in THAT kind of neighborhood where we get people with the money to buy it. Every once in a while, someone will ask to see a pair of the shoes (we keep the stuff behind the register area). Who am I to judge whether or not they can afford it? I will be honest about the pricing, but bigger prices don't faze some people in the least and I have no idea who those people are just by looking at them.
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    Elite Member greysfang's Avatar
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    She obviously didn't want non-white people wandering around her store when she was in front alone so she tried any excuse she could come up with. You know, so she wouldn't have to follow us around to make sure we weren't stealing shit.
    ikmccall and lucianodel like this.
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    Elite Member Karistiona's Avatar
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    What an arsehole, even if Oprah wasn't anybody well known it's so rude to make assumptions about somebody's wealth.
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    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    "This is an absolute misunderstanding," she tells Us Weekly in a statement. "Any sales person would love to sell a crocodile bag. She simply explained [to Oprah] that the bag she wanted to look at was beautiful but in a very high price range and suggested lower priced models in leather, ostrich and so forth."
    I'm failing to see the misunderstanding. The saleswoman understood that Oprah wanted to look at the bag and then refused to show it to her and then tried to steer her elsewhere. What's to misunderstand? Oh, no, it's not because you're black, but because you look poor? Equally as tacky and offensive. You have no idea how much money someone really has in the bank and it's not like Oprah was trying to take it out for a test run outside the store before purchase.

    And fuck these people for making me even sorta defend The Oprah.
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    Elite Member Lalique's Avatar
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    I'm still trying to figure out what kind of purse is worth $35,000. That's kind of appalling.
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