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Controversy Surrounds Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey for Fans’ Maui Fund Contributions

Wildfires ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui in August, leaving a path of ruin despite its natural beauty. 

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey, two of the most famous people in the world, launched the “People’s Fund of Maui” to help the island’s citizens rebuild from the devastating catastrophe. 

People’s Fund of Maui

Though widely praised, their act of charity also sparked a discussion on the roles and duties of celebrities with significant financial resources during times of distress.

Thousands of buildings were destroyed, and 115 people were killed when wildfires broke out on Maui in August. Dozens more are still missing. The island’s people were left to deal with the consequences of the natural calamity, and they needed our help more than before.

Here we have Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey, two celebrities who have become household names thanks to their fame and charitable work. On August 31, they announced the “People’s Fund of Maui” in an Instagram video. They said the fund was established to help those in the community directly impacted by the tragedy.

Oprah said in the video that Dolly Parton’s philanthropy moved her but that she and her viewers were at a loss for how to help the people of Maui.

Their goal was to set up a system where people could give money, knowing it would go to those who needed it.

The Instagram post’s text explained the fund’s purpose, saying that every adult victim of the Lahaina and Kula fires would be eligible to receive $1,200 each month to help in their recovery.

The caption also mentioned that a $10 million seed money was given to kick off the campaign and asked for more money.

Read more: Pet Rescues Persist: Maui Humane Society Dedication After Wildfires

Celebrities’ Charitable Efforts Under Fire

Wildfires ravaged the Hawaiian island of Maui in August, leaving a path of ruin despite its natural beauty.

The announcement gained a lot of attention but generated lots of negative feedback. 

Many on social media questioned the motives of superstars like Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson, who are worth millions but may be asking regular people for money.

“Math ain’t matching with this one,” reads one Instagram comment, aptly capturing the mood. You folks are filthy rich, to put it mildly. 

Similar criticism was leveled at their TikTok uploads, with viewers wondering why celebrities weren’t using their enormous money or their privileged social circles to help out.

Oprah Winfrey, for example, has a remarkable $2.5 billion net worth and numerous homes on the Hawaiian islands, so her words carry weight.

Meanwhile, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is worth $270 million and holds the title of the highest-paid actor in the world.

Despite the backlash, on September 2, Oprah Winfrey released a video where she thanked the 10,000 people who had made individual donations and reported that thousands of people affected by the wildfires had appealed for aid. 

She reassured her audience that measures were being taken to confirm applications and disperse funding as quickly as possible.

Oprah and Dwayne Johnson have been criticized for their roles in the relief efforts, but neither has spoken publicly.

The tragic fires on Maui have shed new light on the age-old discussion of the moral obligations of the rich and famous in times of distress. 

While their efforts to generate awareness and cash are commendable, it’s worth considering whether their efforts would be better spent providing direct aid to the populations that need it.

As efforts to rebuild Maui continue, we should reflect on how those in privileged positions can best help those in need in times of crises, and the conversation started by “The Rock” and Oprah’s relief fund is an excellent place to start.

Read more:  Maui Resident Reacts To Joe Biden’s ‘Build Back Better’ Speech Post-Wildfires

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