Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson faced backlash on Tuesday after asking fans to donate money to help those affected by the Maui wildfires – despite having a combined net worth of more than $2.8 billion.
The Hollywood duo collectively kicked in $10 million to kickstart the People’s Fund of Maui, but then jointly asked their fans on Instagram and TikTok to donate the rest.
However, many fans complained they were already living “paycheck-to-paycheck,” and that the uber-rich celebrities should dole out more of their own money toward relief efforts.
“I would but I’m broke…you two got this though!” fan, Carolina Moreno, wrote in the comment section on TikTok under the August 31 video.
“Billionaire asking for money from the poor, what a joke,” one fan, Cary Jacobs, commented on Oprah’s follow-up video on Instagram.
“You have billions. You could donate $100 million and still be as wealthy as before donating. YOU give the money,” Maribel Rubio criticized Winfrey, who is estimated to be worth $2.5 billion, according to Forbes.
“10 million is 0.5% of 2 billion, you want my 0.5%? Here comes $16 (I gave it to you post-tax),” one TikTok fan wrote.
“This should be a private message between you and your billionaire mates,” another critic wrote. “It’s so outrageous that you are pleading for money.”
Another wrote: “How is the richest woman in the world asking for money? Make it make sense.”
One fed-up fan wrote: “Girlfriend, it would take me almost 20 years to make the amount of money you did JUST TODAY. You do it. We’re struggling over here.”
Although the comments faired better on Johnson’s page, fans were still furious, with one writing: “Dig in those deep pockets Rock! You got this. Maui will thank you.”
Plenty criticized the small starting fund for the two actors who have much more, with many highlighting how little $5 million was for them. Assuming they split it evenly, $5 million would only amount to 0.2% of Winfrey’s gigantic stash. The amount is nearly 1.9% of Johnson’s wealth, which is estimated to be $300 million.
Neither actor has addressed the backlash.
Winfrey, 69, and Johnson, 51, were inspired by Dolly Parton to start the fund after texting about the devastation.
“We were so concerned by what was happening that we were texting back and forth, and I read this article that Dolly Parton had given money in her community, and I said: ‘I think this is the answer,’” Winfrey said in the video.
“That money is going to go to one of many residents who have been displaced in Maui.”
Adult residents of the Hawaiian island will be eligible to receive a $1,200 per month payment to help them “through this period of recovery.”
“We are honored to start this campaign with $10 million dollars and ask for your help in donating to those who have lost their homes. We thank you in advance for your contribution,” their joint Instagram caption read.
In a follow-up video, Winfrey announced that 10,000 people have donated to the fund, but did not disclose how much has been raised.
Winfrey has also faced additional backlash for having multiple properties in Hawaii. The talk show personality bought 870 more acres of land on Maui earlier this year, paying $6.6 million, leading her to own nearly 1,000 acres on the islands.