Jean Barker

FFS, Oprah. Get real.

2013-08-27 07:25

Was Oprah's recent "Crash Moment" the behaviour of a cynical publicity hound - or just the blind rage of an insecure, overly-entitled, and super-rich celeb?

Oprah is oppressed. Didn't you know? She recently caused an international incident, claiming that she was discriminated against by an assistant in a store. She claims the clerk told her a purse she wanted to look at was "too expensive" and offered to show her a cheaper one instead. Oprah claimed this happened because she was black. Fact is, the handbag was too expensive - about $38 000 - for a dumb handbag. But perhaps $38k is pocket change to a woman worth $2.9bn.

The store denies any wrongdoing, saying that the conversation didn't go like that, and that the clerk merely showed her a similar bag in the different materials that happened to cost a lot less and was closer to hand - thinking she was asking for that due to the language barrier. Oprah then walked away from her without correcting the misunderstanding.

Making a fuss

Which sort of makes sense. At 5% commission, why would the clerk snub a customer? "Of course that's not the case. Who wouldn't want to sell a purse for 35 000 francs?" store owner Goetz said in response to the Chicago Tribune.

Oprah later apologised for making a fuss. But she took her time.

This is not the first time in recent years that the famous shopaholic has been "racially profiled" at stores in countries where people don't recognise her. In 2005, she made public statements against fancy pants French store Hermes, who she claimed refused her access because she was black. In truth, it was because the store had closed 15 minutes before she started banging on the door in urgent need of a very expensive watch for Tina Turner's birthday gift.

And even longer ago (in 1998), Oprah claimed a Texas libel case brought against her by beef farms was a racially motivated attempt to silence her - as if that were even possible. "I will continue to use my voice. I believed from the beginning that (the lawsuit) was an attempt to muzzle my voice, and I come from a people who have struggled and died in order to have a voice in this country. And I refused to be muzzled." Oprah, that case sounds like a bunch of meat farmers trying to make a buck - not a political conspiracy. Get real!

I don't doubt that Oprah has been racially profiled in her life... before she was famous. She had a difficult upbringing and suffered terribly, as a woman and as an African American. She rose above those who hurt her and is admired by many for her good works and success. Good for her!

Not 'one of the people'


But thanks to this success, she's not "one of the people" anymore. She's not even one of the middle class - or the upper middle class. She's now too rich and too famous to experience true oppression (or even normal life). Her claims to it are deeply insulting to those who really suffer racial discrimination, every day, in much cheaper stores, without leaving the country to attend a celebrity wedding in Switzerland.

And let's just put it out there: I can't help but wonder if this latest "Crash moment" is really nothing more than a shameless publicity stunt for the film she just starred in. It might be the first time I've ever agreed with anything mentioned on Fox "News".

The Butler
- a Hollywood The Help-meets-Forest Gump extravaganza in which Oprah plays a completely invented character of the butler's alcoholic wife - is killing at the box office. Might be worth it to Oprah, but I figure the shop girl in Switzerland (who went into hiding, her name tarnished) probably needs the money more than Oprah Winfrey does.

- Jean is a screenwriting/directing dual MFA student in California, USA. She tweets as @jeanbarker and blogs pictures of signs and more, here. She will be back.

Send your comments to Jean


Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.

Read more on:    oprah winfrey  |  celebrities
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Hollywood exposed

2014-12-19 15:23

SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
31 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is so much going on around you and inside your head. You may want to take your ideas to the next level. Romance may be...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.