On Sept. 1, Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson launched the “People’s Fund of Maui” to help their fellow residents on the Hawaiian island after the devastating wildfires. The successful celebrities likely thought this fundraising effort would be met with open arms, but instead, they are facing a fury of online backlash.
The duo revealed that they had been inspired by America’s patron saint, Dolly Parton, who has given back to her community time and again. To get the fund started, the A-listers noted that they were contributing $10 million, but they were also asking for donations to those who felt compelled to take action. Well, that idea didn’t exactly fly because Winfrey’s empire is valued at $3.5 billion and Johnson is worth $800 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Why were these very wealthy stars asking the general public to donate money?
As expected, the comments were quick to point this disparity out. “Oprah has over 2000 acres in Hawaii so 1700 homes were lost. Give back their land. 1 acre each, problem solved,” wrote one TikTok user. Another person added, “RUNNING to the comments. Not disappointed. Glad folks are waking up. Oprah… give a few hundred million. You will still be rich.” And The Rock wasn’t exempt from the criticism either with a commenter noting, “I wish the rock didn’t do this with her… I’m thinking different of him now.”
Winfrey and Johnson will be giving adult residents from Lahaina and Kula affected by the wildfires a $1200 per month stipend to get them back on their feet. The duo has not addressed the backlash, but the response probably wasn’t what they were expecting. Instead of being praised for their philanthropy, people are pointing out that they have plenty of money to fund the recovery efforts themselves.
Oprah Winfrey & Dwayne Johnson’s Maui Fundraiser Is Facing a Stinging Backlash. Oprah Winfrey & Dwayne Johnson’s Maui Fundraiser Is Facing a Stinging Backlash