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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson And Oprah Winfrey Face Backlash For Asking Fans To Donate To Maui Fund

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson are facing a public backlash for asking fans to donate to those affected by the Maui wildfires.
Credit: @therock/TikTok

Oprah Winfrey and actor Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson are facing a public backlash for asking fans to donate to those affected by the Maui wildfires.

A series of wildfires broke out in the US state of Hawaii in early August, predominantly on the island of Maui.

The wind-driven fires prompted evacuations and caused widespread damage, killing at least 115 people and leaving 385 others missing in the town of Lāhainā.

The criticism of Winfrey and Johnson largely stems from their combined net worth surpassing $2.8 billion.

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The Hollywood pair generously donated $10 million to launch the People’s Fund of Maui but subsequently turned to their Instagram and TikTok followers, requesting additional contributions.

Their appeal has stirred mixed reactions from fans, with many expressing their financial struggles and the belief that affluent celebrities should contribute more substantially from their own wealth.

Criticisms ranged from statements like ‘billionaires asking for money from the poor, what a joke’ to more pointed remarks such as: “You have billions. You could donate $100 million and still be as wealthy as before donating. YOU give the money.”

 

@therock @Oprah ♬ original sound – The Rock

Fans further emphasised the relatively small starting fund, given the duo’s immense fortunes.

One person wrote: “If they both donated a year’s salary, there would be enough to rebuild everyone’s home on that island, as well as schools, hospitals etc.”

Another said: “Breathtaking. Either one of them could fund the rebuilding.”

A third added: “Oprah and Rock, you’ve got my full confidence in hitting the target with just your own money!! You got this!!”

“Bruh is a billionaire asking me for money?” questioned a fourth.

Assuming an equal split, the $5 million seed money constituted only 0.2% of Oprah’s estimated $2.5 billion wealth and approximately 1.9% of Dwayne Johnson’s net worth, estimated at $300 million.

Despite the backlash, neither actor has addressed the criticism.

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However, some have defended the pair, as one person has said: “They’re trying to do a good thing. I don’t see any issue here.”

“Incredible generosity from Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson, contributing $10 million to provide direct financial support to those impacted by the devastating wildfire in Maui. Grateful for their initiative,” added another.

The inspiration for the fund arose from a conversation between Winfrey and Johnson, sparked by Dolly Parton’s charitable actions.

In response to the devastation caused by the wildfires, they launched the fund with plans to offer $1,200 per month to adult Maui residents affected by the crisis.

Winfrey announced that 10,000 people had contributed to the fund in a follow-up video, but specific donation figures were not disclosed.

Winfrey’s ownership of multiple properties in Hawaii also fueled criticism, particularly her acquisition of 870 additional acres on Maui earlier this year for $6.6 million, further expanding her Hawaiian property holdings to nearly 1,000 acres.

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