Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson addresses Maui Fund backlashthat he and Oprah Winfrey received. Even though they are worth more than $2.8 billion together, the famous pair asked people to give money to help those hurt by the fires. Fans were not happy with the request for more gifts, even though they gave a total of $10 million to start the People's Fund of Maui.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson wearing a red coat
After getting flak for asking his fans to donate to the Maui recovery fund he started with Oprah Winfrey, Dwayne Johnson chose to clear the air.
The star, who is 51 years old, started the People's Fund for Maui with Oprah Winfrey in August. But the two celebritiesgot in trouble when they asked people to donate to the fund.
After the wildfires in Maui in September that killed at least 97 people, the actor posted an update on Instagram about the funding effort. He and Winfrey launched the campaign together.
At first, the Hobbs & Shaw actor and Winfrey worked together to start the People's Fund for Maui. To get things going, they each gave $10 million. Johnson said in an Instagram videoposted on Sunday:
When we first launched the fund, there was some backlash. I get it and I completely understand, and I could’ve been better. And next time I will be better.- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
I understand money ain't falling out of the sky, and it's not growing on trees, and there's a lot of people out there who's living paycheck to paycheck. And I get it, and I know what that's like, I've lived paycheck to paycheck.- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
The last thing you want to hear when you are living from paycheck to paycheck is someone asking you for money, especially when the person asking you for money already has a lot of money.- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
Since Johnson had never started a fund before, he told his fans that he would use the negative feedback as a chance to learn. He said:
I’ve never launched a fund before, but I’m a quick study.- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
He then wrote to thank those who had given him "constructive criticism."
You always tell me the truth - good or bad - I’ll always appreciate and protect that straight talk between us - You have my word to always listen, learn, grow and do better.- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
They said in an Instagram video on August 31 that they had started the "People's Fund of Maui" to help raise money for people who had been touched by the fires. They each said they put $5 million into the fund to start it. Online users didn't like that the two were asking for gifts; some said they were living from paycheck to paycheck and couldn't pay for their own needs.
Winfrey and Johnson said that people who lost their main homes in the Lahaina and Kula fires could get $1,200 a month from their fund when they announced it. Johnson said in the Sunday clip. In the tape, he didn't say how much of the money had been given to the residents.
The thousands and thousands of survivors, the families they have now, over the past couple of weeks started to receive their first rounds of funds.- Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
It was said before that over 100 people died when fast-moving flames burned through the island of Maui. The National Fire Protection Association says these brush fires are the deadliest in the US in over 100 years.
Johnson responded in a way that showed he understood how upset the fans were. He was thankful for the help he got from people who had survived the terrible wildfires and are now getting help from The People's Fund of Maui.
Johnson also talked about how important it is for him to connect with the people on social media. He thanked them for being honest and promised to listen, learn, grow, and do better in the future.
Oprah also talked about the negative comments that the two got. In an interview on CBS Mornings, Winfrey said she was surprised by how people felt about their fund. According to her, the backlash "took the focus off of what was the most important thing, which is the people of Maui." She was seen and photographed right after making donations of physical things to shelters.
So this idea came about because I was on the ground, talking to lots of people, trying to figure out how I can best help.- Oprah Winfrey
It was seen by many as a "non-apology" when Winfrey responded on "CBS Mornings" in September, which made critics even more angry. She talked about how excited she was about the fund and then said she was shocked by the negative response. Fans didn't like this answer; they thought it wasn't sincere and didn't do enough to address their worries.
A lot of people didn't like Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey when they started a fund to help the people affected by the Maui wildfires. In an Instagram video, the star shared good newsabout the People's Fund of Maui, which has now helped families affected by the wildfire. He also talked about how annoying it is when famous people ask regular people for money.