A Facebook friend recently invited me to join a group called 1 Million Servers Strong Against Oprah's Comments -- so far the group has pulled up a bit short of its goal, currently logging in at 74,831 members.
What was Oprah's crime? According to the group, "Oprah Winfrey has recently stated on her TV show that it is acceptable to tip servers 10% in our current economy. This group is being put together to show Oprah that her comments have a crippling affect (sic) on servers all over the world."
The problem? Oprah never said it. An Oprah producer noted on a message board thread on Oprah.com that "The truth is that Oprah has never said that people should tip less during the recession. She believes in generously compensating waiters and waitresses."
Why does this bother me? There are enough causes worth standing up for that it's a little sad that 74,831 people are rallying against Oprah for saying that tipping waitstaff 10% is acceptable when she never said that. The rumor has been running rampant on the Internet for well over a year, and it's impossible to trace its exact origin.
It's also aggravating because there is considerable research suggesting that many Americans believe that African Americans tip poorly in comparison with people of other races. So the rumor's origins may well be racist in nature.
Bottom line? Leave Oprah alone! Or at least attack her for something she actually said.
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