Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson was floored by the backlash to his request for donations to help those affected by the Maui wildfires earlier this year.
Amid the fires, Johnson and Oprah Winfrey teamed up to launch a relief fund and in addition to donating themselves, encouraged others to chip in.
This led to backlash given that the two billionaires wanted others with far less money to help out with the fund during a cost-of-living crisis.
Speaking on the “What Now? with Trevor Noah” podcast, Johnson recalled waking up to the backlash. He said,
“I woke up the next morning wondering the same thing, thinking, what? what happened? Did I miss something? Wait, what? So it took me a couple of weeks to really process that and I felt like that moment was a pivotal moment for me in my life for a few reasons. Number one, I want to go back to the brass tacks of it, and the whole idea of creating this fund, the People’s Fund of Maui, was to help people and help survivors, and Trev, these are my people, these are my Polynesian people, my Hawaiian Kanako, Ohana, my grandparents were all buried in the island, you know, so it meant so much to me and I know it meant so much to our people that we were able to come together and create this fund.
“Over 8000 survivors, by the way, we are helping right now, it was really beautiful. What’s interesting is when all the backlash started to happen and it started to come our way, so I always feel like in moments like that, it’s important not to get caught up in it.”
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Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson Faces Backlash Over Maui Wildfire Relief Fund
Earlier this year, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey joined forces to launch a relief fund to help those affected by the devastating Maui wildfires. While their intentions were noble, the request for donations sparked a wave of backlash.
The backlash stemmed from the fact that Johnson and Winfrey, both billionaires, were asking individuals with far less financial means to contribute to the fund during a time of economic hardship and cost-of-living crisis. Many questioned why the two wealthy celebrities didn’t donate more themselves instead of relying on others to chip in.
In a recent interview on the “What Now? with Trevor Noah” podcast, Johnson opened up about his surprise and confusion upon waking up to the backlash. He expressed his initial confusion, wondering if he had missed something or misunderstood the situation. It took him a couple of weeks to process the criticism and its impact on him personally.
Johnson emphasized that the creation of the People’s Fund of Maui was driven by a genuine desire to help people and survivors, particularly his Polynesian and Hawaiian community. With his own roots deeply connected to the island, he felt a strong sense of responsibility to support those affected by the wildfires. The fund has already provided assistance to over 8,000 survivors.
Despite the backlash, Johnson urged people not to get caught up in negativity and to focus on the positive impact they were making through the relief fund. He acknowledged that moments like these can be challenging but emphasized the importance of staying true to one’s intentions and goals.
It is worth noting that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson has been approached by various political parties in the United States, sparking speculation about a potential presidential run in the future.
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In conclusion, while the backlash to Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Oprah Winfrey’s request for donations to their Maui wildfire relief fund was significant, it is essential to recognize the positive impact they have made in helping thousands of survivors.