Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey Face Criticism Over Maui Wildfire Relief Fund

Philanthropy meets controversy in recent Maui relief efforts

by Nouman Rasool
Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey Face Criticism Over Maui Wildfire Relief Fund
© Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

Following the devastating Maui County fires which claimed nearly 100 lives and left thousands homeless, Hollywood giants Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey came forward with a notable gesture. They initiated the 'People’s Fund of Maui,' kickstarting it with a generous donation of $10 million from their own pockets.

However, the philanthropic move wasn't received with unanimous appreciation. The New York Post highlighted a perspective from a section of the public, pointing to the fact that $10 million is but a small fraction of Johnson and Winfrey's combined colossal net worth.

Some even criticized the duo for "pleading for money" from the public.

Winfrey Responds to Fund Criticism

Addressing the skepticism, Winfrey, in a conversation with “CBS Mornings,” expressed her dismay, stating she felt "terrorized and vilified." She argued that if someone were to donate $10 million at a charity event, the gesture would typically be lauded as "a good night." Dwayne Johnson, popularly known as 'The Rock,' took to Instagram on Monday to address the public's response.

Through a heartfelt video, Johnson acknowledged potential missteps in the fund's announcement. The acclaimed actor shared his understanding of the financial constraints many face, reminiscing on his own struggles, "I know what it feels like.

I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck," he emphasized. "The last thing you want is a wealthy individual seeking contributions." In the video's caption, Johnson wrote, “Launching a fund was a first for me. I’m a fast learner, and I value the feedback.

Thank you for your understanding”.

It's noteworthy that Johnson and Winfrey aren't the only ones stepping up for Maui's wildfire victims.

Jason Momoa and former President Barack Obama are championing donations for the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui County Strong Fund, encouraging the public to contribute to this dire cause.

Dwayne Johnson Oprah Winfrey