Oprah Winfrey Addresses Backlash Received After Asking People To Donate To Her Maui Wildfire Relief Fund: ‘All Of The Online Attacks […] Really Took The Focus Off Of What Was The Most Important Thing’
Oprah Winfrey is responding to the backlash she received after asking the public to donate to the People’s Fund of Maui that she created with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
In a recent interview, Oprah Winfrey addressed the criticism she and Dwayne Johnson faced for asking people to chip in on a support fund they launched in an effort to assist victims of the Maui wildfires.
Oprah Winfrey, who has a reported net worth of $2.8 billion, and the “Black Adam” actor, who’s reportedly worth $800 million, committed $5 million each to start the People’s Fund of Maui. However, many blasted the pair for looking to the working class for donations instead of their celebrity friends.
When asked about her reaction to the online criticism she responded,
“The attacks, lies, conspiracy theories, really took the focus off of what was the most important thing and that was the people of Maui.”
Winfrey continued and said she was excited to create the fund but shocked when she realized she was in the hot seat over asking for donations.
“I was so excited. I got up the next morning and I saw all of this vitriol and I was like whoa what happened here. So this is what I want to say, I want to say that you know I think in the beginning so many people were calling asking where do we give our money to where so I thought I’m going to give people a place, we’re going to create something and I still think it’s a really strong idea.”
Winfrey then referenced Dolly Parton, who previously created the My People Fund back in 2017 following a wildfire in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Though the wildfire left hundreds homeless, Dolly Parton was able to give displaced families a $1,000-per-month stipend that she sourced from outside donations and her foundation.
According to Winfrey, her goal was to follow in Dolly Parton’s footsteps. She said,
“Dolly Parton was right putting money directly into the hands of the people is a significant thing and the model that’s been created. I will say that as of today, 2200 people have been cleared and verified and those people are going to get a notice from the People Fund of Maui and they’re gonna have the money.”
Despite Winfrey and Johnson’s attempt to do a good deed, social media users wasted no time in blasting them for the way they went about things.
One user commented,
“Oprah is a billionaire, the Rock is a millionaire, they can fund this without any help, they could get with their millionaire friends and raise money, I mean really? Asking the public for help? We are already struggling with high gas and groceries, talk about out of touch with reality.”
Another user shared the same sentiment,
“How bout her and her billionaire/millionaire friends band together and donate instead of asking those of us struggling to get by?”
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What are your thoughts on this entire situation? Do you think Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson were wrong for asking for donations? Let us know in the comments below!