I've always had a love-hate relationship with Oprah Winfrey. She can be really fun to watch and I respect how she has tried to use her fame and wealth for a lot of good causes. On the other hand, she is so famous and wealthy that it's clear to everyone (except her) that she is completely out of touch with the real world ("My friend Diane Sawyer"; "My friend Rob Lowe"; "My friend Tom Cruise" — it can be really nauseating), yet she tries to act like she's "one of us." And her "I invented philanthropy and literacy" attitude can be really annoying, as well.
That being said, this whole so-called Hermes incident in Paris, where she was "treated so rudely" and it "may or may not" have had to do with her being black, immediately made me skeptical. You're Oprah Winfrey. You're not really any color or any gender: You're a superstar. The whole world kisses your ass 24 hours a day. Everything is done your way, no questions asked. You're always right. You say jump and your entourage asks "how high?" You buy gifts for Tina Turner(!). You control everything and everything around you. So any notion that I'm going to feel sorry for you is, well, not only unwarranted, it's highly unlikely.
So when I read that she had the president of Hermes USA on her show's 20th season premiere to "set the record straight" about what happened in June, I was hoping she would explain what really happened — and I would come to see that she wasn't being a spoiled diva:
"Anybody who has been snubbed because you were not chic enough, or not thin enough, or not the right class, or the right color or whatever, I don't know what it was, you know that it is totally humiliating," said Oprah.
(OK. But still waiting to hear what really happened ...)
The talk show host extraordinaire then ever so sweetly demanded a public apology from the Hermes USA president and CEO for the June incident in which an employee turned Oprah and her entourage away from the Paris boutique at closing time even though some shoppers were still inside.
Are you f**king kidding me? Oprah: the exact same thing happened to me the other night at my corner Eckerd Pharmacy when I stopped by at 10:59 p.m. to buy a half-gallon of milk there. (Did I mention that I went there because milk is 50 cents cheaper than at my supermarket? Trying to save a few cents, Oprah, that's what real life is about.) Oh, and by the way, I'm a white man of an undetermined chicness and class.
So this is what someone who purports to want to change the world is now putting on her show, making some overpaid CEO kiss her ass on national TV over something that is both not a big deal and, in fact, is just a matter of following the rules? Stores have posted hours of operation: shop during them like the rest of us do.
You see, Oprah, where you're sitting, you don't see that there are rules that real people must follow every day. You've forgotten and that's why it makes it hard to like you sometimes.