According to Yahoo, Dwayne Johnson has addressed the backlash he and Oprah Winfrey faced for asking the public to donate to their Maui fund. In a video posted on his Instagram page, Johnson acknowledged the criticism and expressed understanding for those who felt hesitant to donate.
He emphasized that he understands the financial struggles people face and the difficulty of living paycheck to paycheck. Johnson mentioned that he, too, has experienced financial hardship, having lived paycheck to paycheck, even recalling times when he had only seven dollars to his name.
The People’s Champ and Oprah Winfrey launched the People’s Fund of Maui in response to wildfires that devastated West Maui, particularly Lahaina. The wildfires resulted in significant loss of life and property. The fund aimed to provide $1,200 monthly checks to those affected by the fires. Johnson and Winfrey contributed $10 million each to initiate the fund and invited public donations to further support the cause.
However, the appeal for donations drew criticism from many who felt that individuals with substantial wealth like Johnson and Winfrey should fund the project themselves or rally support from their affluent connections. TV personality Nick Cannon also expressed his support for the criticism, stating that it’s in poor taste for billionaires to request money from the public.
Oprah Winfrey had previously addressed the backlash, mentioning that she felt “terrorized and vilified” online in response to the fund. Johnson, whose net worth is significantly less than Winfrey’s, used the opportunity to announce that the first round of monthly checks had been distributed to survivors in need. He noted that his involvement in the rebuilding effort was inspired by his Polynesian roots and reflects the values of his culture.