A CNN story from 2005:
Hermes on Wednesday apologized to Oprah Winfrey for turning her away last week, saying that its Paris store was closed to set up for a public relations event when the talk show host stopped by. “Hermes regrets not having been able to accommodate Ms. Winfrey and her team and to provide her with the service and care that Hermes strives to provide to each and every one of its customers worldwide,” the store said in a statement. “Hermes apologizes for any offense taken due to such circumstances.” The store said the incident occurred on June 14 around 6:45 p.m., about 15 minutes after the store closed. It said Winfrey and her team arrived at a time when “a private PR event was being set up inside.”
Harpo Productions spokeswoman Michelle McIntyre said Winfrey “will discuss her ‘crash moment’ when her show returns from hiatus in September.” “Crash” is a film dealing with race relations. The phrase “crash moment” refers to situations where a party feels discriminated against on the basis of skin color.
The New York Daily News cited sources close to Winfrey as saying the talk show host was first rebuffed by a clerk and then a store manager. The Daily News reported Winfrey had gone to the store to buy a watch for singer Tina Turner, her dining partner that night. McIntyre confirmed that account for CNN. The New York Post, in its Monday Page Six gossip column, reported she was turned away because the store had been “having a problem with North Africans lately.” In comments to CNN, an Hermes spokeswoman categorically denied that allegation. “There was never any discussion of North Africans,” she said. “The story is not true.”
Hmmmm. The talk show host appears to have hosted the Crash cast at the time of the DVD release, just after her well-publicized encounter with discrimination in a European luxury store. Where have we seen that before? Oh yes, just the other day, when, in an incredible coincidence, the same woman encountered similar discrimination in a European luxury store just prior to the theatrical release of movie she’s in. How is such a bizarre coincidence possible? Deadline notes that “72% of Fandango’s The Butler ticket-buyers who were surveyed claimed that co-star Oprah Winfrey’s involvement increased their interest in seeing the film.”
So there are two movies (Crash and The Butler) that critics claim overstate facts to fit a dreary, shopworn narrative, and it just happens that prior to their theatrical or DVD release, there are remarkably similar Jim Crow acts of discrimination in non-US luxury boutiques that turn into publicity opportunities that echo the plots of the films. Very interesting.
What’s most depressing about all this is the genuine deep divide in our country. Listening to some of the callers to people like Larry Elder or Dennis Prager, it’s as though the last fifty years in America never happened. Roger Simon is right in his analysis. BTW, if Mark Steyn should run for the Senate, so should Larry Elder, who is really at the top of his game.