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Oprah Regrets Swiss Racism Incident
Photo Credit: ABC News Radio

Oprah Regrets Swiss Racism Incident

Aug 14 2013, 3:19pm CDT | by ABC News Radio

Mike Windle/Getty Images for TWC(NEW YORK) -- After Switzerland's national tourism board apologized for the racism that Oprah Winfrey says she encountered last month while in Zurich for Tina Turner...

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1 year ago

Oprah Regrets Swiss Racism Incident

Aug 14 2013, 3:19pm CDT | by ABC News Radio

Mike Windle/Getty Images for TWC(NEW YORK) -- After Switzerland's national tourism board apologized for the racism that Oprah Winfrey says she encountered last month while in Zurich for Tina Turner's wedding, the TV titan says she feels bad that the incident has made so many headlines.

"I think that incident in Switzerland was just an incident in Switzerland," Oprah told reporters Monday at the Los Angeles premiere of Lee Daniels' The Butler, according to the BBC. "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."

"It's not an indictment against the country, or even that store. It's just one person who didn't want to offer me the opportunity to see the bag," she continued, stressing that this was an isolated incident.

Oprah told Entertainment Tonight that a shop assistant in Zurich refused to show her a handbag that was "too expensive" for one of the world's most powerful and richest women.

She told the story when asked by ET about the use of the N-word. "Racism for me doesn't show itself that way. It still exists," she said, going on to explain what happened in the Zurich shop.

The country's tourism board apologized on Twitter, writing, "We are fuming - this person acted terribly wrong. We are sorry this happened to @oprah!"

However, the store's owner reportedly chalked the whole thing up to a "misunderstanding" due to the language barrier, saying, "My salesperson wanted to give her the handbag in her hand. But she didn't want to take the bag."

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