Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Oprah Winfrey Statement Analysis

These words are attributed to Oprah Winfrey (subject) though this is not verified.

Recall the principle of SCAN (Avinoam Sapir) that the "statement is alive, but the subject is dead"; that is, we are not analyzing the person, but this statement.

Analysis is in bold type.


I’m out by myself and I go into a store…shall remain unnamed and I say to the woman, uh excuse me, may I, may I see that that uh bag right above your head… and she says to me no, it’s too expensive. And I said, no no no, no see you see the black one the one that’s folded over the la and she said no no no , you don’t want to see that one. You want to see this one because that one costs too much you won’t be able to afford that. And I said, well no, I really did want to see that one. And she she refused to get it. She refused to get it. And she started to show me these other little bags and um, I said uh one more time, I tried, I said, but I really do just really want to see that one. And she said uh I don’t, I don’t want to hurt your feelings and I said okay, thank you so much, you’re probably right, I can’t afford it and I walked out of the store. 

Here is the same statement with emphasis added:

I’m out by myself and I go into a store…


This is the re-telling of an event, and where the subject begins the statement is very important; often revealing the purpose of the statement.  It should be in the past tense. 
1.  It is in the present tense, which reduces reliability 
2.  The additional word "myself" is added here to emphasize that she was alone.  Being alone means that we have to take her word for the account, and that she is acknowledging, up front, that she does not have an eye witness to corroborate her account. 

Note "I'm" and "go into" are both present tense.  Story telling is often present tense, but in a factual statement, we expect to see past tense verbs from anyone over the age of five (5).  


shall remain unnamed 

We analyze what one says, and what does not say.  Here she reports that she will not name the store, making this sentence a sensitive, important one for the subject.  

One may want to ask, "Why won't she name the store?"

This is the kind of statement that causes the reader/listener to ask a question. 


and I say to the woman, uh excuse me, may I, may I see that that uh bag right above your head…


First note that she continues in the present tense.  She does not say, "I said..."  Present tense is not reliable. 

We next note that she calls the salesperson a "woman", gender specific.  

Next we notice anything that is repeated as sensitive:

The words "may I" are repeated.  

People do not normally stutter on the pronoun "I" since, as humans, it is one of the most used (therefore, most proficient) word in the English language.  

The phrase, "may I" should be, therefore, considered sensitive in the statement.   One may want to question if the subject spoke this politely or not.  

We note that the item is called a "bag" and it is "that" bag (not "this" bag) which may indicate its distant proximity to either the subject or the salesperson. 


 and she says to me no, it’s too expensive. 

The subject continues to report in the present tense.  If the subject will not commit to a statement, in the past tense, neither shall we make the commitment for her.  The subject is our guide.  



Please also note:  it is reported as "...no, it's too expensive."  This uses the word "no" once, which will be important: 



And I said, no no no, no see you see the black one the one that’s folded over the la 

From the word "expensive", to the word "And" (beginning a new sentence), there is missing information, as confirmed by the word "And."

One might want to know what was said after the words "it's too expensive."

Next note that the word "no" is repeated four times, making it extremely sensitive to the subject.  

Note that "see" is present tense= unreliable.  Note its use and any possible repetition. 

Note the introduction of the word "black" here as the color of the item.  ("bag")



and she said no no no , you don’t want to see that one. You want to see this one because that one costs too much you won’t be able to afford that. 

Here, she again quotes the salesperson but now changes from "no", to "no" three times.  
Note that she attributes the reason with the word "because"; not only is it "too much" (no longer "too expensive") but she adds in the unnecessary words "you won't be able to afford it."


And I said, well no, I really did want to see that one. 

Note the change from present tense to past tense at this part of the account.  
Note that the sentence begins with the word "And" indicating that there is more information here (in the subject's mind).  

Note: "I really did want to see that one" is also in past tense. 

One may want to learn what has caused the change of language for the subject.


And she she refused to get it. She refused to get it. 

"And" indicates missing information. 
"She refused to get it" is repeated.  One should wonder why the subject has the need to repeat this phrase. 
Please note that it continues in the past tense. 



And she started to show me these other little bags and um,

Note, again, the beginning of a sentence with the word "And"
Note also that she reports something that "started"
Note that the "black" bag is different from "little bags", which she adds the word "other", indicating that the black bag was also "little."


 I said uh one more time, I tried, I said, but I really do just really want to see that one. 


"I said" is past tense, and it is repeated here, making it sensitive, but it also has a broken sentence (broken sentences = missing information) with "I tried."

Please note that when someone uses "I tried" in the past tense it may indicate attempt but failed. 

We note that this is in between "I said", indicating that something was attempted but not completed.  We take this in proximity to "I said", and take it with the repetition (sensitivity) and question what the subject actually said.  


And she said uh I don’t, I don’t want to hurt your feelings and I said okay, thank you so much, you’re probably right, I can’t afford it and I walked out of the store. 

The subject continues in the past tense.  It should be considered very important where the verb tense changed for the subject, within the statement. 
Note "I don't" is repeated, making it sensitive to the subject.  Why would not hurting someone's feelings be sensitive?
Note "thank you very much" is often found in statements where a subject wishes to portray herself in the highest (polite) manner. 
Note "I walked out" ends the statement.  
"The" store is not named.  

There is enough unreliable information here to question Oprah's account, which makes sense, therefore, that she would not name the store, the clerk, nor even seek to right the 'wrong' by speaking to the store manager.  It appears to be a fabrication and a twisting for publicity purposes. 

81 comments:

shmi said...

Is it possible that Oprah speaks in present tense to begin with because of the many years of telling stories from her show? Maybe she is more accustomed to speaking like that.

The account sounds more natural in past tense.

yellowflower said...

I read daily posts about a 2-year-old with a TBI on facebook (Tripp Halstead Updates.) I've noticed that his mom sometimes uses the present tense when recounting the events of the day. What of that? I ask because I believe she's telling the truth.

Trigger said...

What gives rich Americans the right to go to foreign countries and attack sales clerks for not recognizing the them?

Rich and powerful Americans going after sales clerks?

The sales clerk was a tiny little Jewish woman who didn't recognize Oprah for the big star she is, so she gets publicly humiliated by a powerful TV personality as being a possible racist.


Jen said...

I don't understand why Oprah is attributing this to race. The bag cost $38, 000...chances are that 90% of the people who come into the 'nameless' store couldn't afford it...regardless of their race!

If she really wanted to buy the bag then why didn't she just say, 'Actually, I can afford it, and I would like to see it', or ask for a manager? Why walk out 'offended' and then turn it into an international incident that SHE claim's is about race? It appears she wanted to feed the recent racial discord...otherwise, she would have kept her HORRIBLE, demeaning experience of not being helped to buy a luxury handbag to herself.

Oprah is one of the most public, influencial women of color on earth, and she chose to use that platform to bellyache about a bad shopping experience! Thats quite a 'first world' problem, now isn't it!?

dane said...

http://omg.yahoo.com/news/oprah-sorry-switzerlands-flap-092123697.html

dadgum said...

yellow..I follow Tripp as well..
I also noticed that in recounting things I sometimes change tenses. I'm not sure why. Perhaps it changes over time, as now (7 years post tbi)I speak of accident and surgeries in past tense. Odd.

We have a lot of hope for Tripp because he is so young. More heartbreak is to come..sigh. Sam is storming a bit today from medication changes. All we can do is comfort and pray..

john said...

Oprah Winfrey:

I'm sorry Switzerland racism incident got blown up..

http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/13/showbiz/oprah-winfrey-racism-switzerland/index.html?hpt=ieu_c2

Trigger said...

Jen,
I agree with you.

Why was it so important to demean a sales clerk in a foreign country?

Oprah appears to be a petty ego driven jerk, throwing her weight around in a foreign country by televising her displeasure with a humble sales clerk as victim.

Trigger said...

"I'm sorry Switzerland racism incident got blown up.."

Oprah is stating that the encounter with the clerk was an actual account of racism in Switzerland.

Oprah is the authority on racism in Switzerland and they better bow an scrape to her demands or face her wrath of massive media ridicule. What arrogance.



Nanna Frances said...

Another Article about this Incident:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2389798/Oprah-Winfrey-branded-liar-Swiss-sales-assistant-racist-handbag-row.html

john said...

OT..Things that make you go Mmm..

EXCLUSIVE: How millionaire husband relaxed on his yacht for 20 minutes unaware his wife was drowning just feet away.

Read more:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2390397/Millionaire-John-Petrocelli-relaxed-yacht-20mins-unaware-wife-drowning-just-feet-away.html#ixzz2braXe79B

Anonymous said...

Excellent statements to analyze in the Daily Mail link Nana F posted, especially if the statements were given in English

Jen said...

Sales clerk's response from daily mail article, if anyone wants to analyze:

"This is not true. This is absurd. I would never say something like that to a customer. Really never. Good manners and politeness are the Alpha and the Omega in this business.'I don't know why she is making these accusations. She is so powerful and I am just a shop girl.  'I didn't hurt anyone. I don't know why someone as great as her must cannibalize me on TV.  'If it had all taken place as she claimed, why has she not complained the next day at the wedding of Tina Turner with Trudie Goetz, my boss? She was there also at the Turner wedding as a guest. I don't understand it.'I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is okay but not excellent, unfortunately. 'I didn't know who she was when she came into the store. That wouldn't have made any difference if I had."

-The first thing I noticed in reading this article is that the shop employee states that Oprah was shopping with a companion, yet Oprah begins her account by saying she was 'out, by myself'.

The sales clerk starts her statement with a strong first person and past tense denial, she labels the accusation as 'this'. "THIS is not true", "THIS is absurd". Then says she 'WOULD NEVER (future conditional) say something like THAT to a customer'. She first (twice) labels the accusations as 'THIS' (close), then changes to 'THAT' when speaking in general terms about how she treats customers. In the article she says that she never refused to show the bag, only that she commented on the cost of the bag while showing her other similar bags.

It sounds like a misunderstanding to me...like O asked to see the bag, and the clerk said something like...'that bag is outrageous, but if that's the style you are wanting we have other like it', etc. I don't believe it had anything to do with race, but more than likely routine..most people CAN'T afford the bag so she is used to providing the customers with alternative options. My question is the same as the shop clerks...WHY did Oprah decide to target this store clerk and assert racism as her motive. Even if the incident happened exactly as Oprah describes..there was nothing overtly racial about it. I question Oprah's motives and intentions more than the shop clerk (who by the way would likely have made a nice commision on the sale).

Frannie said...

Oprah is jumping on the same Obama bandwagon of "I am black and RICH and I still get discriminated against". Did Oprah go into that store - YES. Did she twist and emblish her story -YES. Just as Jen pointed out - Oprah said she was alone, but the store clerk mentioned she was with a companion. Oprah wanted to promote herself and the new movie she is in (which I will now NOT go and pay to see)and now she has been called out and is back-peddling as fast as she can!

rob said...

This is so petty, it is unbelievable. If you try to peg everything that happens as racist, you can.
No white or Asian or Hispanic ever gets mistreated, spoken down to, berated, only American blacks. Get over it. If someone is rude to me, I no longer frequent the business.
If a waitress is rude, no tip.
People are rude.
If I was in charge of a $35,000 item, I would be sure the shop owner had given me some guidelines on when to get it out of the case.
I wonder how Oprah was dressed when she went it the shop? Did she look like a billionaire?

Anonymous said...

Two interesting side points:

1) She specifies that the handbag was "black", and characterizes the incident as a racial slight.

2) The clerk probably was speaking English as a third language.

Sounds like a manufactured uproar to keep a has-been in the spotlight.

Anonymous said...

Well,.....it was the closest she'd ever come to being treated like a regular black person???? So she had to expound on it.....
I went to see purses and I asked the lady if I could see THAT one and she said 'well the one in my hand is exactly the same as that one just made from the material this one here is made from', and since the little white lady didn't want to get a ladder and fetch the other bag.....THAT DOESN"T SOUND RACIAL ENOUGH so oprah had to spice it up.

sha said...

If a storefront sells purses worth 10s of thousands of dollars, I bet you more than a small percent of customers CAN afford to purchase them. POOR PEOPLE DO NOT SHOP AT STORES WHERE A BAG COSTS MORE THAN THE HOME THEY LIVE IN. If you are not dressed to the nines you're not going to see that 30,000 purse and they aren't going to allow you to test drive the Jaguar either.

Randie said...

Shop girl said:

“I wasn't sure what I should present to her when she came in on the afternoon of Saturday July 20 so I showed her some bags from the Jennifer Aniston collection,” she is quoted as saying

“I explained to her the bags came in different sizes and materials, like I always do.

“She looked at a frame behind me. Far above there was the 35,000 Swiss franc crocodile leather bag.

“I simply told her that it was like the one I held in my hand, only much more expensive, and that I could show her similar bags.

(translate to: "oh you like that style...nice this one in my hand is just like that one. I can show you more of them in that style."

“It is absolutely not true that I declined to show her the bag on racist grounds. I even asked her if she wanted to look at the bag.

“She looked around the store again but didn't say anything else. Then she went with her companion to the lower floor.

“My COLLEAGUE SAY THEM to the door. THEY were not even in the store for five minutes.”

(Ophrah's money and fame got the best of her. Her own racist ego bit her in the butt!!) This won't go away. She blew it!

Check out all the latest News, Sport & Celeb gossip at Mirror.co.uk http://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/oprah-winfrey-handbag-racism-row-2157350#ixzz2brtTVyUG
Follow us: @DailyMirror on Twitter | DailyMirror on Facebook

Randie said...

That was supposed to say: My college SAW them not say...oops

lane said...

My opinion
Someone told Oprah, "No". It's a word that people usually don't say to her. That's why it's sensitive to her. The audacity that someone said, "No" to Oprah.

I'm not a fan of Oprah.

john said...

OT..

Missing: Erica Parsons Timeline..

Feb. 24, 1998 Erica Parsons born to Carolyn Parsons.

1998 Casey Stone Parsons and Sandy Parsons, Erica’s uncle and aunt, adopt Erica.

March 2002 Department of Social Services investigates accusations of abuse to Erica. DSS found no signs of abuse.

Nov. 19, 2011 Erica Parsons last seen by adoptive brother.

Feb. 2012 Attorney for adoptive parents say couple had last conversation with Erica.

June 2012 Missing persons report filed for Erica’s adoptive sister, Brooke Parsons

July 2013 Erica Parsons reported missing by adoptive brother.

Aug. 6, 2013 Rowan County Sheriff’s Office says Erica Parsons’ adoptive parents not cooperating.

Aug. 13, 2013 Erica Parsons’ biological mother returns to N.C. from New Orleans to speak with investigators.

http://www.wsoctv.com/news/news/local/missing-erica-parsons-timeline/nZNG3/

Trigger said...

The idea that Oprah is causing an international incident to promote her new movie is absurd.

She lied about her conversation with the sales clerk for attention to her financial prowess and power.

That little clerk was attempting to converse with all her knowledge of English to a non-native customer. Oprah doesn't speak the native language of the people in Switzerland so she can twist any of the tiny clerk's words to whatever she needs.

Oprah, quit embarrassing American citizens with your ego and then attempting to smooth it over with accusations of racism. it is unbecoming.

Trigger said...

Oprah says,
"I'm sorry...I was just referencing it as an example (Yeah, Oprah we get it) of being in a place (specifically Switzerland) where people (all Swiss sales clerks) don't expect that you (she is excluding herself because she is exclusive) would be able to be there (shopping in another country carrying lots of cash, credit cards, and other monetary/financial clout.

Oprah does not deny that she lied, in fact she justifies her deception.

Why go after a tiny little sales clerk who isn't adept in English, Oprah?

Anonymous said...

this statement analysis makes me think Oprah may be stretching truth or lying here. Even her story as she tells it is strange --- people get snubbed all the time in fancy stores for not appearing wealthy enough -- it doesn't have to be about race --. if she was actually shopping alone (doubtful) she was likely dressed very down to avoid attention - so it's not illogical that she appeared l;ess wealthy than she is. Also -- she could have so easily said -- actually i'm like one of the richest peo9ple in the world I just didn't get my hair done today could i please check out the bag up there already because i have every capability of buying ten of them if I like how it looks up close. but instead she just said that she really wants to see it -- which does nothing to clear up the question of if she can afford it. Oprah is annoying anyway -- she's a ruthless business woman -- who exploits emotions for proffit and always knows the bottom line.

Anonymous said...

Fiorst, Oprah has apologized for blowing up the incident. Secon d, apply Peter's awesome statement analysis techniques to the clerk's statement.... is she telling the truth? She shows distancing language, according to Peter himself. Sounds like a no-big-deal misunderstanding. Oprah herself said so... chill. Oprah is who she is becase she is a smart business woman -- what on earth makes you call her "ruthless?' She provides employment for countless people, made reading extremely popular and launched the careers of unknown authors, brought many women's issues to the national conversation and gives scads of money to charity. What the hell did she ever do to you?

Anonymous said...

Oprah has done more for humanity than anyone. She started her own religion, she interviewed people which is the most valuable thing a human can do, she healed everyone's psyche with her pop psychology and words of wisdom from her "good friend" Maya Anelgeloooo. She started O Magazine which taught me that a $10 toaster is not good bc Oprah likes $500 dollar toasters--it is in her "Favorite Things" List in her O Magazines.
Forget people living in poverty, forget racism, forget crack babies, the Queen of Talk couldn't look at a 34,000 dollar handbag in Switzerland. Talk about ressurecting the ghosts of slavery. It's painful just hearing about this injustice.

Anonymous said...

When I was fat, Oprah healed me.
When I was depressed, Oprah healed me.
When I thought I was a closeted cross-dresser Oprah healed me.
When I was buying $10 coffee makers, Oprah healed me.
Wen I was struggling to understand religion, Oprah gave me a new one made by her.
When I needed inspiration, Oprah lifted me high on the wings of words from her good friend Maya Angelooo.
When I couldn't find a good man, she inspired me with her stories of Stedman.
When I was lost in the world Oprah found me and brought me home with her talk show and her O Network.
When I thought I was the only one being discriminated against when it comes to handbags that cost as much as a new Porsche, Oprah showed me I wasn't alone, I could stand strong.

Anonymous said...

Dude, new Porsche's cost just a liiitttttllllleeee more than $34,000. Looks like Oprah let you down after all.

Anonymous said...

Oh I thought you said she was giving away new Porsches to her audience members tomorrow.
Another thing I forgot to mention she is the Santa Claus of new cars.

Anonymous said...

God sent Oprah to Switzerland to expose their racism and teach them about what their racist attitudes are doing to Black Americans. (Yeah, right).

CanadianGirl said...

Many of you who are making negative statements about Oprah are the same people who have most likely gotten angry and made complaints to managers about the cashier working at Wal Mart or McDonald's. So stop it.

SA shows that yes, there is probably information missing from Oprah's story, but the same can be said about the Shop Clerk's side of the story.

Oprah didn't name the clerk or the store. The media made it a sensational story, not Oprah.


Anonymous said...

Oprah exposed the very heart of racism: It was not to the deep South she needed to go, nor the more intellectual yet often close-minded roads of New England did she need explore--rather God led her on a mysterious journey to a small yet pricey shop in Switzerland where the masque of decency and equality was yanked back revealing the hideous face of slavery in America.

Trigger said...

How dare anyone examine Oprah's words, say "No" to her in another country, examine her motives, or call her a fabricator?

Warning: be afraid, be very afraid.

If you do, be prepared to face more oppression, bullying, and accusations of racism in the media. Oprah can make you shut up about her incident with the Swiss sales clerk or suffer the consequences of legal threats and intimidation.

Trigger said...

Hi Canadian Girl,

You are omitting the fact that Oprah initiated this media blitz.

She went after a sales clerk who didn't recognize Oprah's fame and fortune when she came face to face with her.

Trigger said...

Why didn't Oprah ask to see the store manager when she encountered flagrant racism in Switzerland?

Because it was more "effective" to slam the store clerk in the media. It was the clerk's word against Oprah Winfrey and "God forbid" that anyone believe the sales clerk's account.

Frannie said...

Have you listened to the audio of the interview when Oprah is telling this "story"? When she speaks the words the sales lady is accused of saying she uses an awful, fake foreign accent. Who's being racest/bigotted now?

C5H11ONO said...

Interesting that in her entire account everything was "said" which is much nicer than "told" which would have been used had the conversation gotten a little testy.

Had I been insulted I would have at one point I would have used "told" like, "and I told her never mind, it probably does cost too much." - that would have indicated that the "conversation" escalated, but not in her account. It was all pleasantries.

Anonymous said...

I did notice her doing the fake accent in the live telling of the "story". It kinda sounds like she was doing a German accent. I did think that was odd. The lady was Italian right? Do they have German accents?

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is it was Oprah's responsibility to tell the store clerk "Actually I can afford it." The fact that Oprah did not tell the store clerk this, that she paints the story and shapes her actions as if she is shopping for handbags in a climate of (racist) oppression, is what should be examined. Had Oprah been in a climate (a time, a place) where blacks could be punished for speaking up and saying "I can afford it. I would like to see it." then her actions of neglecting to say what was her responsibility to say as an assertive adult could be sympathized with. As it stands, this was not the case. Oprah was on her way to a celebrity wedding for her friend Tina Turner who lives in a castle. The point is, Oprah chose to paint the store clerk's actions as malicious and paint her own actions as submissive and my question is submissive to what? What was stopping Oprah from saying "Actually I can afford the bag. I'm Oprah Winfrey. Please let me take a look at it."

Trigger said...

There are many German speaking citizens in Italy just like in Canada, America and other countries who have close ties with Europe.

Trigger said...

The more Oprah talks the more, I think that she is fabricating.

Anonymous said...

I'm just so sick of these celebrities who take up so much newsspace that could be used to report on actual issues. Even hearing about Anthony Wiener and his B.S. It's just unbelievable, it's like I wish they would just stop reporting about these celebrity/politicians and all their stupidity. Report on North Korea, poverty, the Middle East, people who actually do good things, heroic actions. It's like I just don't give a damn about Oprah's handbag angst and Wiener's narcissistic texting disorder.

Peter Hyatt said...

Anonymous,

I understand about the annoying reporting of celebrity nonsense. In fact, some feel that it is demeaning to Statement Analysis, itself, to use them as examples.

I am a bit torn on the issue.

I also prefer reading about the actual news and generally do not read about the celebrity nonsense. When someone sends a transcript, however, if I feel it is useful for learning, I will use it.

Peter

Peter Hyatt said...

shmi:

note that Oprah switched from present tense to past tense.

Peter

Anonymous said...

Peter, I have no problem with you analyzing statements of celebrities. I was happy you did this analysis because I feel her ststement is dishonest. Also, it is very useful for learning. I was just speaking in general terms about how these celebrity's egos take up a lit of room.

MizzMarple said...

Oprah is a racist, just like her
buddy Obama.

Two peas in a pod ...

Birds of a feather ...

Oprah is about Oprah. She is extremely "over-rated" and extremely "over paid" !

Of course, all my opinion.

Thank You Peter, for this analysis.

Anonymous said...

Seems odd the timing being after the Travyon case.

It almost makes it seem like she is trying to use that race card herself.


I just have to go back to the store clerk in the Travyon case. EVEN the BLACK MALE was caustious of Trayvon. This was not some innocent 12 year old going to get a slurppy. In fact he left, walked back into the store and when the store clerk again FOLLOWED him, he just stopped and left.

If another BLACK younger man was on guard around Trayvon, I think its safe to see where George was suspicious.



I still think George should have stayed in the car... BUT...

Rachel herself said Trayvon was "almost home" then somehow ended up back face to face with George. If he was scared, and was almost home, the normal response would be to hurry home and go inside.

Didnt happen.

Anonymous said...

You people are making this into a bigger issue than it is. Oprah has already said it has blown way out proportion, it was an issue with the shop girl. She asked to see the bag, the girl refused to let her see it. She left the store. Let it go people.....all this extra stuff is uncalled for. Peter I like your analysis but with this one, I think you are off your mark. I hope you are not playing into this race stuff too. Stick to criminal analysis not handbag analysis. I will have to be careful of what you write. Shady post in my opinion that gets the crowd going.

Anonymous said...

Pondering Switzerlands racism. Are they as bad as us?

Jazzie said...

Keep in mind:

"Winfrey is currently promoting her return to the big screen in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler,” which also stars Forest Whitaker."

http://www.businessoffashion.com/2013/08/swiss-luxury-shop-denies-racism-towards-oprah.html

Weigh this against language barrier.

"I spoke to Oprah Winfrey in English. My English is okay but not excellent, unfortunately."

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2389798/Oprah-Winfrey-branded-liar-Swiss-sales-assistant-racist-handbag-row.html#ixzz2bu1XlqVs

also:

Trudie Goetz, the manager of Trois Pommes:
"Who wouldn't want to sell a bag like that? Everyone would. My saleswoman just wanted to do her best. She feels very bad because she feels the way it's being represented is very unfair."
Goetz added that Tina Turner was her "best friend" and that she, like Oprah, attended the singer's wedding."

Sounds like a win-win situation here.
Hollywood meets Boutique on marketing crack.
Think about it.

Just saying.

Jazzie said...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-23679605

See it's all good.
Red carpet smack.
Never meant to create a Swiss "race row"

Told ya.

Skeptical said...

How convenient that this handbag incident happened right before the movie The Butler is screened. Sorry Oprah, you overplayed your hand this time.

~ABC said...

Oprah being an interviewer **cough** surely would have realized how to resolve this issue. A simple question to the clerk, What about me leads you to believe I cannot afford that bag?

I don't believe Oprah's account. It's completely out of line with her m.o. to just meekly walk away. Oprah? The woman who took on the entire beef industry. Please! No way.

we love lemon said...

Oprah should have stopped making movies after "Ghost".She was Great in that,But the movie where She was a "singing nun"was rubish.

rob said...

If Oprah had wanted to 'let it go', she would never told the story on national tv.

I asked the waitress at IHOP to refill my water, she never came back, so I'll relate it here. Maybe I can bring down IHOP.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Peter!

It seemed like something was missing from her story and something about her account didn't ring true. I wonder why Oprah, who is so powerful in her own right, and someone who promotes personal power could not convince a store clerk to show her a purse, not as a powerful celebrity, but as one of us out shopping alone.

Excruciating Headache said...

Statement analysis worked perfectly here. I don't mind this celebrity example at all. In so many instances, only two people knew what really happened and one of them is dead.

I'm sure Oprah has a huge ego and I think anyone who would pay $38K for a purse is a complete ass.

Randie said...

Oprah said Sorry TWICE!

"...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..."

Remember what Peter taught in Statement Analysis?!! If they use the word "Sorry" they are guilty!!

Trigger said...

Walking meekly out of a store that just demeaned you in a brazen racist manner would be out of character for Oprah Winfrey, the rich American media icon.

Switzerland is the location of Swiss banking business' that cater to secret bank accounts.

Does Obama want access to the names of those people who live in the U.S. who have money in those accounts?


Anonymous said...

"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," Winfrey said Monday night at the Los Angeles premiere of "Lee Daniels: The Butler."

"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," she continued.

In a recent interview with "Entertainment Tonight," Winfrey recalled a clerk at an upscale Zurich boutique refusing to show her a handbag. Winfrey said she was told she could not afford the $38,000 purse.

"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," said Winfrey, who earned $77 million in the year ending in June, according to Forbes magazine.

"I didn't have anything that said,

'I have money.'

I wasn't wearing a diamond stud.

I didn't have a pocketbook.

I didn't wear Louboutin shoes.

I didn't have anything," said

Winfrey on the red carpet. "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."

Swiss tourism officials and the boutique owner apologized for the incident last week, but Winfrey insists there's no need.

Anonymous said...

I agree

Anonymous said...

"Oprah should have stopped making movies after "Ghost".She was Great in that,But the movie where She was a "singing nun"was rubish."

Uhm, that was Whoopi Goldberg. They all look alike to you?

Colleen said...

In that same interview Oprah also said the situation with Trayvon Martin was similar to that of Emmett Till. I was more offended by that statement than her b.s. about not being shown a handbag because of her race.

I think these phony claims about non-existent racism is actually starting to cause the real thing. It's dangerous, divisive and it needs to stop.

we bring freshness we are anti chimp said...

Chimps out!!!!!

August 15,2013 at 11:54am said...

Chimps are chimps.

Winnie said...

She's black and makes billions. The president is black and he rules the super power of the world. And she calls the "race card" on a stupid purse. When someone calls you "bluff" and you know you are in the "right" you will prove it right then and there. She didn't. She enjoyed it as she knew she would have a story to tell. The sad part is now she has probably hurt or destroyed her close friendship with Tina Turner who's store manager is her Tina's BFF. I imagine this will hurt her position. I doubt Tina will be inviting the big "O" back anytime soon. Tina left the US for obvious reasons. I doubt she is very happy to be in the public eye like this over something so petty. Get over your self Oprah. You put yourself on a high horse and pat your own back - we are tired of you. Hopefully you're twisted publicity stunt hurt the profit of your movie. You deserve it! Enough is never enough for some people. Might I mention that half the entertainment BILLIONAIRES are black~ The race card faded long ago my sweet round cheerio "O"

thirst quencher said...

No matter how wealthy I was... I would be embarrassed to announce to the world I was contemplating the purchase of an almost $40,000 hand bag. She could put an unemployed person on the payroll and change their life with that kind of money. $40,000 would be a lovely yearly salary for anyone without a job right now. And she backs Obummer? She is shameless!!!

Jazzie said...

Learn to recognize when you're being sold a bill of goods. This is a clear case of marketing collaboration between two individuals banking on publicity.

Hollywood and Handbags.
They go together.
Liars and Leather.
Birds of a feather.

LOL

Skeptical said...

I have a better reason than Oprah not to see The Butler - Jane Fonda. She is an unindicted traitor. She took the social security numbers that the American prisoners of war gave her, hoping to be rescued and she gave them to the Viet Cong commandant.

Benedict Arnold gave up his citizenship and Private Slovak faced a firing squad. Why hasn't Jane been charged with treason? It doesn't matter if she said she was sorry. I am sure Benedict Arnold was sorry too, yet he still had to face the consequences of his actions.

Anonymous said...


Skeptical said...
I have a better reason....any quotes or links to your better reason?

Anonymous said...

When will PETA show up to attract more news coverage?

Anonymous said...

Thirst quenched, I was thinking the same thing - how shameful to admit to thinking about buying a purse that costs the same (or more) as a car! Disgusting that more people are focusing on her bogus discrimination story than the mere fact that Oprah was going to spend 38000 on a purse!

Anonymous said...

Quenched, not quenched, sorry for the auto correct above...

Anonymous said...

Auto correct hates me. I give up.

Anonymous said...

Wahhhh!!! Poor Oprah! Will she ever recover from these profound wounds? Multimillionaire...victim? On behalf of everyone who has spent thousands of dollars on years of therapy for traumas that do not include being denied the opportunity to touch a purse after conveying such fragility, throwing herself on the mercy of a shopkeeper, searching for the milk of human kindness, yet that teat ran dry---I say, move on Oprah. You got nothing else? Nothing, 50% of all children, statistics say, will experience some kind of sexual abuse (other abuse not specified) in their lives. Tell them your woe is me story. 1st world problems? Maybe, but more like 1% workd problems.
I lost total respect for Oprah when she described her "Crash" moment with racism was when she went to a pricey boutique in England and they would not adjust their lives, commitments and other customer obligations for her. What a narcissist. That wasn't a Crash moment Oprah. They knew you have fat pockets. You are on the cover of every single one of the hundreds of your O magazine. They just honored their obligation to someone else. Yes, they lost your sale, but they put professional integrity over kowtowing to an arrogant, entitled, ever the victim narcissist.

Anonymous said...

Who here can imagine an adult Oprah stammering to see a purse and accepting a no passively? No one. Who can imagine Oprah going into a shop herself diring business hours for a purse? None of your cadre of assistants? I bet Oprah is a bully.

Anonymous said...

Oprah stammering is crap. What, she regressed to 10 years old? I think she was looking for another Crash incident to share with the world. But bravo, Oprah, we know you wont lose any sleep tonight if you cost that girl her job. You'll sink into your ginormous feather bed from the rarest species of white swan, your huge ego nestled in decadent pillows made of guinea fowl fluff and your $20,000 satin sheets.
She offends me, thats what the hell she's done to me. I'm a real person with real problems. I know people who have been out of work for two years. I know children who are homeless and bullied. I know people who were abused and struggling with addictions.
Now I know of someone who couldnt caress a black purse. I will need to drink warm milk and take an Ambien to get past this tonight. The end is nigh,

Anonymous said...

First of all, I was treated like crap by Walmart after my car accident. I had purchased a vacuum. It broke. I returned it for another, it also broke but this time I also realized it inflamed my bursitis. I did not want the same vaccuum. I wanted to exchange it. It was my right and clearly noted behind the head of the pasive aggressive manager who told me to take it home and fix it with a paper clip. I said no. Then she accused me of stealing it, said maybe I didnt get it there and who knew when I got it. The assistant got a shoping cart, put a new but exact same vaccuum on a cart and pushed me towards the door. When I got home I saw the Walmart stocking sticker, labeled Walmart and the date the store received it. Yes, I called the corporate office and the manager who felt like supplementing her income by demeaning a customer for no reason and lying about store policy and boldly accusing of theft called me back and apologized as if she was unaware it happened. I could go on and on about Walmart. I am a person who always wishes people a good day and respond to their how are yous with the same kindness. If I can move past this without calling the press, Oprah can call on her higher power to move past her blighted longing to timidly touch a purse.

Anonymous said...

If it was not a big deal to her she would not have brought it up in an interview. Now she is trying to look magnaimous and try to rise above something that evidently, out of all the experiences in her life, was worthy of mentioning with a fake accent for dramatic effect in an interview. Oprah drew down on the shop assistant, someone everyone can relate to with her story if elitist entitlement, something we all wish we could relate to. Stop being codependent and let her suffer the consequences of her ego and the hurt of the shopkeeper. She says it in public, the public reacts. Period.

Anonymous said...

LOL, that was a funny observation. But actually many sociological studies have been done demonstrating that many cultures think that of others, and many think that of white people--white people all look alike even despite their hair. Huh, fascinating.