Friday, June 24, 2005

No pity for Oprah

Maybe you've heard about this on TV or online. Oprah was in France and wanted to go to some fancy boutique and got turned away. So she threw a big stink about it (how dare they not let her in!) and even hinted at racial discrimination. Before I comment, read the article below about the incident that I snagged from E! Online....Hermes Apologizes for Oprah Snub

    Oprah Winfrey may be the world's most powerful celebrity, as well as the reigning Queen of Daytime, but apparently those titles hold little sway with Hermes. The luxury goods retailer has issued a red-faced apology after refusing the talk-show host entry to one of its Paris boutiques last week. According to a statement from Hermes, Winfrey and "an entourage" tried to enter the Hermes boutique on the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore at about 6:45 p.m. on June 14. Though the store's normal closing time is 6:30 p.m., many high-end retailers routinely make exceptions for celebrities and other VIPs.

    However, according to Hermes, the boutique was in the midst of setting up "a private public relations event" at the time Winfrey stopped by. "Hermes regrets not having been able to welcome Madame Oprah Winfrey and the people accompanying her to give them all the attention and service that Hermes is committed to giving each of its clients in the world," said the statement. "Hermes expresses its sincere regrets for any misunderstanding that these circumstances could have caused."

    However, Gayle King, a pal of Winfrey's, who was with her at the time of the incident, disputes Hermes' version of events. "People were in the store and they were shopping. Oprah was at the door and she was not allowed into the store," King told Entertainment Tonight. "Oprah describes it herself as 'one of the most humiliating moments of her life.' " Not that Winfrey is letting the incident keep her down. "She's really okay," King said. "Her position is, 'I will shop where people appreciate my business, and I don't believe that any longer includes Hermes.' "

    Winfrey's Chicago-based Harpo Productions confirmed that the daytime diva canceled a recent order for one of Hermes' Birkin bags following the incident. The exclusive purses can cost as much as $6,500 and Winfrey reportedly already owns a dozen of them. Winfrey also informed Robert Chavez, the American president of Hermes, that she would no longer be patronizing his stores. Meanwhile, though The Oprah Winfrey Show is currently on hiatus, a spokesperson for the show confirmed that Winfrey plans to devote a show to her "Crash moment" in September. Crash, which stars Don Cheadle and is currently in theaters, paints a bleak picture of racial intolerance.

    Last week, Winfrey was named number one on Forbes magazine's Celebrity 100, up from her 2004 standing of number three. Her 12-month earnings were estimated at a hefty $225 million. And that would buy a lot of bags. Too bad, Hermes"

Now I'm sorry, but I have absolutely NO sympathy for Oprah. Did anyone else but me notice that the store was CLOSED when she went there? Granted, it had only been closed for 15 minutes (which is why some last minute shoppers were probably still lingering). I've worked in a store before, and sometimes after you lock the doors, there are still people milling around who haven't finished their purchases. It's not like they were letting other people in but not Oprah. THEY WERE FREAKING CLOSED. Plus, they were trying to get ready for a huge function of some kind (probably celebrating Oprah's purchase of an independent island nation).

Welcome to the real world, Oprah my dear. Welcome to the world the rest of us live in. Where, if we show up to a store after they're closed, they DON'T open the doors for us. Where we don't ride in diamond-encrusted limos and just because we choose to read a book it means everyone else in the world has to read it. For Oprah to cry racial discrimination is bogus. Bogus. I wanted to go get some ice cream the other night, but they were already closed. So I couldn't get ice cream. No big deal. It didn't become a national incident, but when little Miss Everyoone Must Bow To Oprah does the same thing, it's on the front page. Guess what, Oprah? You're a billionaire. Your show is on hiatus right now. YOU CAN AFFORD TO FLY BACK NEXT WEEK.

The only thing worse than a whiny celebrity is a celebrty who whines because they get treated like the rest of us would have been treated.

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