Some people are calling it a case of racism. Switzerland officials are calling it “regrettable.” Whatever it was, it was definitely wrong. When Oprah Winfrey—a fabulously wealthy superstar who made $77 million dollars last year and has probably made another million in the time since you started reading this sentence—was doing some shopping in Zurich and asked a clerk in the Trois Pomme boutique on Bahnhofstrasse if she could take a look at that $40,000 handbag. Now take a moment to wrap your head around the idea of a handbag that costs a comfortable annual salary, and add to that the fact that this shop clerk refused to even let Oprah hold it, because—get this—he said it was “too expensive” for her.
To her lasting credit, Oprah didn’t throw down the “do you know who I am?” line or do anything dramatic like, say, buy the entire store on the spot and have it demolished. She only politely asked one more time and, upon being again refused, took her leave. She’s saying it’s a case of racism, and it’s hard to not agree (unless this shop clerk just doesn’t let anyone look at anything in the store), so Switzerland as a country has been tripping over themselves to apologize.