Friday, June 24, 2005

Oprah, Queen of the World, victim

PLEASE LORD GIVE ME THE STRENGTH. A feel the need to fisk. Duct tape your head, if necessary:

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.

Oh, please tell me what horrible indignity has occured to poor, helpless Oprah

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.

Do tell ... this MUST be horrible. I'm thinking black-face, and Sambo comments. Perhaps someone confused Orpah with the common help?

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.

You are shitting me.

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.

Ok, and the problem was...? Oprah didn't get treated LIKE A NORMAL PERSON DID SHE? OH, THE INHUMANITY. THE HUMILIATION.

"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."

Well, at least they are contrite ...

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.' "

One of the MOST humiliating moments? I can understand - I mean, Queen Oprah shouldn't have to abide by things such as "closing time", or be inconvenienced by a business setting up a private event. Restrictions such as those are for us commoners. Note to Gayle King - I'm sure you are unaware since the rich and famous have special rights and privileges, but stores normally lock the doors at closing time- barring new guests from entering- but allowing those already IN the store to finish-up their shopping. Since I'm feeling so illuminating at the moment - restaurants do the SAME THING! You can actually GO to a restaurant, see people still INSIDE eating, but the joint is closed, and they won't let you in! Just wacky, isn't it?

Not that Winfrey is letting the incident keep her down.

WHEW! Thank God she is able to pick herself up and keep on, keeping on.

"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.' "

Oh, and she will devote an hour of her show to blasting the company.

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.

Well, fuck me. A $6,500 purse, and Oprah's upset (and humiliated) that she wasn't treated like a queen so she could go drop another 7 grand on a fucking purse.

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.

I'll have my hanky handy. Can we expect Jessie there too?

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.

Poor, poor Oprah

And that would buy a lot of bags. Too bad, Hermes.

WHATEVER. Hermes loses a bit of my sympathy by apologizing to Oprah.