Akinyeye from the University of Lagos:
The Oprah incident is indeed an unfortunate one.It is expected that someone of Oprah's standing should have been given some measure of extraordinary consideration if things had been normal.I stay here in Nigeria and i have watched quite a number of the lady's shows and i frankly enjoy them alot.It should therefore ordinarily be expected that the name Oprah should open any door no matter any time of the day or night.However the matter is not that straight forward and does not lend itself to such a simple conclusion of motive and intention.It is in this regard that i strongly appeal to the innumerable fans of Oprah not to feel unduly slighted and embarrassed by the lack lustre reception accorded the celebrity.While not holding an unsolicited brief for the shop,for all you know,the operatives in the boutique may be ignorant about who Oprah is.This has a lot to do with the French culture of deifying the French tongue in which iam not sure Oprah is particularly enthused.Another thing is that the shop might be doing no more than keeping religiously to its schedule and would not respect anybody's status in the spirit of French egalitarianism 'ou tous sont egal The Oprah clan of admirers and fan would have helped us if they have had precedents of similar preferntial treatment accorded to non black celebrities before they can accuse of the boutique of not extending the same courtesy to our beloved Oprah.I will therefore appeal to all concerned not to infer without enough grounds what ma ynot have been intended.in the interest of mutual peace and concord which the world needs now more than any other thing.I wish the queen of the screen a very lovely stay in France and many more years of celebrity.She should not allow this unfortunate incident to mar her deserved pleasant visit to Paris which i happened to have lived in myself some years ago.
Dr. Italo Trevisan
Quite often, a store, when closing time arrives and there are still cstumers inside closes the door to new entrant - being beyond closing time - but let the ones inside st that time to finish their shopping (provided it does not take too long). So I would bet that the people that could be seen inside the Hermes shops were customers who were there already before closing time.
Orpah was rightly sent back, because she arrived after closing time, as would have happened to anybody.
Orpah reaction was ridiculous and detracts a lot from any credit she has as a public figure: she just comes across as a spoilt rich American, always ready to exploit other people and have them running at the drop of a dime.
That she is Black is totally irrelevant and the fact that she choose to exploit the race card (forgetting that Paris is not in the USA and the race card does not elicit the jerking response that it does in the USA) is a laughable trick. Or should we think that rules apply to everybody but if a rich and famoous Black American does not like them they should not apply?
Michael Afolayan, Illinois
I have a problem with this uproar. I think the question to ask is, "was Oprah actually 15 minutes late?" If she was, then, good grief! The sentiment of the publicity that Hermes Store would have received because of Oprah coming to shop there has little or nothing to do with the integrity of the shopping policy that this company has to uphold. Before we start standing on the line to carry placards on issues that are abysmally inconsequential to the needs of the ordinary citizen of the world, let's ask the question, "is this worth a minute of mine, or anyone else for that matter's time?