Like you needed another reason to hate Oprah
Oprah shows up at a store after they have closed and they don’t open the door because…they’re racists.
Whether Oprah Winfrey was turned away from a bit of after-hours shopping in Paris because of a racist employee or a special event, news of the confrontation outside a luxury store has evoked empathy and anger from many American minorities.
The incident occurred when Winfrey stopped by Hermes on June 14 to buy a watch minutes after the boutique closed. Though she and three friends said they saw shoppers inside, neither a sales clerk nor manager would let them in.
Winfrey believes the store’s staff had identified her, according to a spokeswoman from Harpo Production Inc., her company. Winfrey’s friend, Gayle King, who was there, told Entertainment Tonight, “Oprah describes it as ‘one of the most humiliating moments of her life.'” Harpo says Winfrey plans to discuss the incident in the context of race relations on her show this fall.
Hermes said in a statement it “regrets not having been able to welcome” Winfrey to the store, but that “a private public relations event was being prepared inside.” The store did not respond to calls seeking comment.
“As retailers, we want to treat every customer well. So I tell retailers not to look at the customer for what they look like but to address the product they want and what service they’re looking for,” said Daniel Butler, vice president for merchandising and operations at the Washington-based National Retail Federation.
Even if a store is closed, Butler said, the staff should be empowered to “do as much as they can to accommodate a customer and hopefully use common sense.”
Winfrey has often plugged Hermes products â€“ a $135 tea cup and saucer was featured in her magazine in 2001 and was still on her Web site Tuesday, along with the company’s phone number. But she has said she will no longer be shopping in its stores.
First of all, fuck Oprah. They didn’t open the doors because…they were closed. The customers who were inside had a better grasp of the concept of space and time and were able to make it through the doors before they were locked and, as far as the employees are concerned, those people had better get their asses in gear and pick out whatever expensive bullshit trinket they want and get the hell out.
You see, people in the service industry have lives. They are scheduled to work until, say 9pm, and then they want to go home to their husband and kids or their significant other or even to their dog (or a cat in extreme but unfathomable circumstances). They are tired of pretending to care about your needs. They are tired of making that fake smile that isn’t really a smile. They are tired of people demanding and bullying and saying things that, if the employee didn’t need that job, would get the customer’s asses beat like Steadman’s when he hasn’t buttered the toast properly.
For Gayle King and Oprah to play the race card is contemptible. For Oprah to use it “to discuss the incident in the context of race relations on her show this fall” is even worse. If they recognized her as Oprah and turned their backs it wasn’t because she was black; it was because she was Oprah and they could probably see themselves spending the next hour-and-a-half or more catering to her and her friends whims.
“Oprah describes it as ‘one of the most humiliating moments of her life.'”
No. Humiliating is having to have to put your life on hold and re-open the store so that a woman who has made a career out of pretending to care for the common man can come in and browse around with her friends for an overpriced gift watch so that the recipient will be forced to acknowledge how fucking wonderful and generous she is.
If Oprah wants to talk about one of the most humiliating moments of her life, she could always re-open the closed wound that was Beloved. She could spend a goddamn week on that.