Since you still may be the recipient of false information, we wanted to set the record straight and to update you on important information. Tommy creates his clothing for all different types of people regardless of their race, religious or cultural background.Oprah's Statement:
Unfortunately, for several years now, an ugly rumor has been circulating that Tommy made inappropriate racial comments on the Oprah Winfrey Show. The facts remain simple and cannot be disputed. Tommy Hilfiger did not make the alleged comments, he has never appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and, in fact, Ms. Winfrey herself, on her January 11, 1999 program, stated Tommy Hilfiger has never been on her show nor has she ever met him.
You also should know that similar rumors have circulated about comments supposedly made by Tommy Hilfiger on other television shows. All of them are completely false. Whether these rumors are part of a misunderstanding or a deliberate act of malice, they have absolutely no basis in fact.
This rumor, in its various forms, has achieved the status of a classic "urban myth." The urban myth phenomenon has been written about by many journalists, and there are now many websites on the Internet dedicated to the subject of urban legends and folklore.
Most importantly, Tommy Hilfiger wants his clothing to be enjoyed by people of all backgrounds and his collections are put together with the broadest cross-section of individuals in mind. To reinforce this, he features models of all ethnic backgrounds in his fashion shows and advertisements.
I've Never Even Met Tommy HilfigerMoreover, the Anti-Defamation League investigated the rumour and concluded that the allegations were unfounded. In an open letter to Hilfiger, the ADL states:
"So I want to just set the record straight once and for all. The rumor claims that clothing designer Tommy Hilfiger came on this show and made racist remarks, and that I then kicked him out. I just want to say that is not true because it just never happened. Tommy Hilfiger has never appeared on this show. READ MY LIPS, Tommy Hilfiger HAS NEVER APPEARED ON THIS SHOW. And all of [the] people who claim that they saw it, they heard it -- it never happened. I've never even met Tommy Hilfiger."
Taped live on "The Oprah Winfrey Show"
January 11, 1999
According to our information, these allegations about you and your company, Tommy Hilfiger Corporation, began circulating through the Internet via e-mail in the United States in 1997, and have since continued to circulate by means of chat rooms, bulletin boards, faxes, e-mails, and word-of-mouth in the United States and elsewhere.
ADL has investigated the matter in response to the requests of constituents and other community members. We have concluded after careful investigation that the malicious rumors circulating about you and your company are without merit and lack any basis in fact.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:Details of Tommy's appearance on the Oprah show are available on the Oprah Winfrey Show website.
TUESDAY, MAY 1, 2007
TOP DESIGNER TOMMY HILFIGER APPEARS ON WEDNESDAY’S “OPRAH” FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT
CHICAGO, IL – For more than a decade, one of the biggest Internet rumors in the history of “The Oprah Winfrey Show” is that Oprah Winfrey threw top fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger off her program for making racist remarks. After hearing that the rumor was circulating again, Oprah invited Tommy Hilfiger for his first-ever appearance on her show.
During the interview, Tommy Hilfiger talks about how he enlisted the help of the FBI and investigators to trace the rumor back to its source. As for the impact of this rumor on his life over the years, Hilfiger said, "It hurt my integrity because at the end of the day, that's all you have."
Watch Oprah and Tommy Hilfiger address the vicious rumor and have the final word to those who continue to propagate it on the Wednesday, May 2, 2007 episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" (check local listings). "The Oprah Winfrey Show" has remained the number one talk show for 20 consecutive seasons, winning every sweep since its debut in 1986.* It is produced in Chicago by Harpo Productions, Inc. and syndicated to 215 domestic markets by CBS Television Distribution Group and to 132 countries by CBS Paramount International Television.
*Nielsen Cassandra Ranking Report - Nov'86 to July '99 and Wrap Sweeps, Nov '99 to July '06. Primary Telecasts Only.
Last updated: 23rd November 2009
First published: 2003
Write-up by Brett M.Christensen