Oprah Winfrey made headlines in June when she angrily denounced the upscale clothing store Hermes after they denied her and her entourage entry into their store in Paris. Store representatives insisted they were merely closed for a PR event, while Winfrey claimed that they had denied her entry because she is African-American. Winfrey, who had been looking to buy something for Tina Turner, warned that when her daytime talk-show returned to the airwaves it would no longer feature the store's products.
A week later, Hermes issued a public apology.
Apparently, the apology worked, and it's all water under the Eiffel Tower. Monday, Oprah hosted US Hermes CEO Robert Chavez on The Oprah Winfrey Show and cleared up any confusion about what had surely been eating at her fans. She told viewers that she had never wanted them to stop shopping at Hermes, and she had a few choice words about the media's depiction of the event.
"I just want to say shame on anybody for thinking that I was upset for not being able to get into a clothes store and buy a purse. I was upset because one person at the store was so rude," she told her captivated studio audience.
She went on to say that most of the reports of the event were completely untrue, and added, "Everybody who has ever been snubbed because you were not chic enough or thin enough or the right class or the right color or whatever--I don't know what it was--you know that that is very humiliating and that is exactly what happened to me."
Mr. Chavez confessed that Oprah had dealt with "one very, very rigid staff member" who wasn't aware of Oprah's stature, and expressed his regret at the incident.
Finally, as Oprah put an end to the feud, she put a smile on the faces of consumers everywhere when she gave her viewers permission to "wear the Berkin bags. Shop, shop, shop, shop!"