Sneed: Oprah’s got a point about Zurich flap — but her reaction didn’t help her
By Michael Sneed August 9, 2013 9:44PM
Updated: September 12, 2013 6:47AM
The Oprah show. . .
Oh, oh Oprah: Sneed is putting the latest OprahWinfrey purchase flap in the pompous file.
C’mon, Oprah, get a grip. . . and I’m not talking on a handbag.
You certainly got my empathetic attention when you claimed the clerk at a posh store in Zurich, Switzerland, refused to let you look at a $38,000 handbag because she said you wouldn’t be able to afford it.
It does smell of racism. . . although how many of us can afford a $38,000 Tom Ford crocodile bag?
But your comment on “Entertainment Tonight” regarding the bag brouhaha is so diva.
◆ Quoth Oprah: “Obviously, ‘The Oprah Winfrey Show’ is not shown in Zurich. So this doesn’t happen to me unless somebody obviously doesn’t know that it’s me,” she said during the interview.
(The shop owner has apologized, but said the shop assistant, who is Italian, was probably not understood but isn’t racist. Gads, now the Italians get a thwack.)
Was this another Oprah “Crash” moment — a reference to Oprah’s dust-up with the Hermes shop in Paris in 2005, when the TV tsarina went ballistic when a door clerk denied the “O” a quick dash inside for a fast purchase shortly after the store closed.
◆ Backshot: Winfrey’s staff at Harpo later described it as Oprah’s “Crash” moment — a reference to the film, in which racism unfolds in many different subtle ways.
◆ Upshot: Oprah said she would never have bought the bag anyway, because it was too expensive; the bag was reportedly sold later.
Whew. Isn’t that a relief.
Tee hee. . .
Mr. T and the FBI?
Laurence Tureaud, a k a Mr. T., who is known for being surprisingly candid on Twitter, tweeted Aug. 2 he “just passed the tough [FBI] background security check.”
◆ Then he added: “Now I have to report to the FBI training academy in Chicago. . . it’s a special undercover operation. . . that’s all I can tell you. And I pity those criminal FOOLS! Prediction. . . PAAAIIINNN!!”
◆ On Friday, the former star of the legendary TV series “The A-Team”, tweeted, “What an honor to be invited to the FBI Training Academy in Chicago! Thank you to all the agents around the country for keeping us safe.”
So Sneed called Chicago’s FBI spokeswoman, Joan Hyde, who told us: “We have a friends and family picnic going. [Mr. T.] is a guest of someone at the picnic. He’s just at our field office.”
Hyde added there is nothing else he is involved with.
Ya gotta be kidding.
No doubt he was.
The Quinn bin. . .
Sneed has learned Gov. Pat Quinn plans to appoint transit expert George Ranney, who chaired the task force that led to the creation of the RTA, to a blue ribbon commission to reform mass transit in the wake of the Metra scandal.
◆ Translation: Quinn and Ranney, the president of Metropolis Strategies — an organization dedicated to improving the economy of the six-county Chicagoland area — were spotted having lunch Friday at the University Club to discuss forming the panel of experts.
The women’s room. . .
◆ The Winnie way: Chicago-bred actress Jennifer Hudson, who plays Winnie Mandela, former wife of South African hero Nelson Mandela, in an upcoming biopic, claims she spent five days in solitary confinement on the movie’s prison set to understand what Winnie went through during her own 500-plus day prison stay.
◆ Don’t tell the Tea Party: “Hanoi Jane” Fonda, an uber-liberal who once made conservative former President Ronald Reagan wince, said a friend of Nancy Reagan’s claimed the former first lady was “very pleased” with Fonda’s portrayal of her in Lee Daniels’ “The Butler”.
Sneedlings. . .
Saturday’s birthdays: Antonio Banderas, 53; Angie Harmon, 41, and Justin Theroux, 42. . . Sunday’s birthdays: Chris Hemsworth, 30; Hulk Hogan, 60, and Viola Davis, 48.