Last Updated on October 9, 2023
Multi-millionaire Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has apologized for soliciting Maui fire relief donations from working Americans alongside billionaire Oprah Winfrey, acknowledging in an apology video he released online that “the last thing” Americans living paycheck to paycheck want to hear is a rich celebrity asking them for money.
“When we first launched the fund, uh, there was some backlash that came with launching the fund and I want to address and acknowledge that backlash right now, and here’s what I have to say about that,” The Rock said in his apology video.
“I get it and I completely understand and I could’ve been better and next time I will be better,” he went on. “And I understand that money ain’t falling out of the sky and it’s not growing on trees and there’s a lot of people out there living paycheck to paycheck and I get it and I know what that’s like. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck,” he said, adding that before his fame, he had just $7 in his pocket.
“I don’t want to speak for everybody, I’ll speak for myself, but I feel it’s connected. When you’re living paycheck to paycheck, I was easily pissed off and I was frustrated. And the last thing you want to hear when you are living paycheck to paycheck is somebody asking you for money. Especially when the person asking you for money already has a lot of money.”
Watch the apology video below:
The Rock Apologizes for the Maui Fund He Set Up w/ Oprah
“The last thing you wanna hear when you are living paycheck to paycheck, is someone asking you for money especially when the person asking you for money already has a lot of money.”pic.twitter.com/vXcCWk74D7
— Chief Nerd (@TheChiefNerd) October 9, 2023
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The Rock and Oprah were blasted as out-of-touch with everyday Americans in a rapidly deteriorating economy in the wake of the deadly Maui fires after the mega-rich celebrities established a fund and released a widely-promoted viral video asking the American People to open their wallets.
Despite Oprah having an estimated net worth of $2.8 billion, and The Rock having an estimated net worth of over $800 million, the pair donated just a combined $10 million to their “People’s Fund of Maui” before soliciting donations from people considerably less wealthy than themselves.
Adding to the backlash is the fact that Oprah owns a massive property in the Maui area, with a blue roof. Her property was spared from the fire’s fury.
Though The Rock has now publicly apologized, Oprah has not and instead ripped those who criticized her financial solicitation in a CBS interview, casting herself as the true victim of the situation.
“I was so excited about it, and then I got up the next morning, and I saw all of this vitriol, and I was, like, ‘Whoa, what happened here?’” Oprah told CBS last month. “It made me sad that we are at this state in our country.”