Tommy Hilfiger's clothing became a hip-hop staple in the mid-late 1990s. It was around that time that libelous rumors started spreading, often by mysterious email chain letter forwards.

The most noxious was that Hilfiger had appeared on Oprah, and when asked about the popularity of his clothes among African-Americans, stated that, had he known black people would have worn his clothes, he never would have made them in the first place. Many times, the rumors indicated that this statement inspired Oprah to throw him off the show.

It was completely untrue. In 2007, Hilfiger made his first appearance on Oprah's program, and addressed the issue. Oprah's website has a transcript of the exchange.

"It hurt my integrity, because at the end of the day, that's all you have. And if people are going to challenge my honesty and my integrity and what I am as a person, it hurts more than anything else. Forget the money that it has cost me."