BY Stephen Nartey, 11:00am September 14, 2023,

Oprah Winfrey breaks silence after being slammed for asking fans to donate money toward Maui fire 

Oprah Winfrey/Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Legendary talk show host Oprah Winfrey has revealed she was shocked and saddened at the public reaction to appeal for funds to support victims of Maui wildfires earlier this month. This is the first time she is speaking to the issue after public criticisms of her humanitarian gesture.

Sharing her disappointment in an interview with Gayle King on CBS Mornings, she said she was taken aback at the backlash she faced while decrying the current divisive state of the country. According to Winfrey, she drew her inspiration to embark on the cause from Dolly Parton’s charitable efforts in 2017 to help Gatlinburg wildfire victims. Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson initially donated $10 million to establish the People’s Fund of Maui but the backlash emerged after they subsequently turned to their social media followers on Instagram and TikTok, encouraging them to contribute to the cause.

Some fans expressed their frustration, citing their own financial struggles and calling on wealthy celebrities to contribute more of their personal wealth to relief efforts. Some fans left comments on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, with some acknowledging their own financial limitations while others criticized billionaires seeking donations from those less fortunate.

Some pointed out that if Winfrey and Johnson donated $100 million from their immense wealth, they would have enough left. Some criticized the public nature of her request, suggesting Winfrey should have handled her appeal as a private matter within the circle of her wealthy friends. One commenter questioned why one of the world’s richest women was soliciting money, finding it contradictory.

Winfrey indicated that, despite the criticism of her initiative, she believes strongly in the advocacy. For her, she remains committed to the idea of the fund and expressed the determination to move forward. She believes it’s a strong concept.

Winfrey and Johnson are not the only celebrities who have come under public criticism for their responses to the Hawaii fires; Stevie Nicks received tons of vitriolic attacks for her Instagram post discussing her niece’s vacation in relation to the tragedy.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 14, 2023


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