Dwayne Johnson Addresses Criticism for Requesting Maui Relief Fund Donations: ‘Lesson Learned’

In August, the actor launched the wildfire relief fund with Oprah Winfrey with an initial donation of $10 million

After some weeks of reflection and ardent criticism, Dwayne Johnson has expressed regret in his handling of the Maui wildfire relief fund he launched with Oprah Winfrey in August. The multi-millionaire actor and billionaire philanthropist had been criticized for their initial donation of $10 million and expectation that people with far fewer means would contribute the rest of the help needed to assist thousands in recovering from the ravenous wildfires that scorched the Hawaiian island.

“I understand money ain’t falling out of the sky and it’s not growing on trees. There’s a lot of people out there who’s living paycheck to paycheck. And I get it, and I know what that’s like, I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck,” Johnson shared in an Instagram video. “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 someone asking you for money, especially when the person asking you for money, already has a lot of money.”

Johnson added that while he’s never launched a fund before, he’s viewing this stumble with the People’s Fund of Maui as a learning lesson: “I get it and I completely understand, and I could have been better. And next time, I will be better.” He’s also been inspired by the resilience of the families and communities coming together to help rebuild from the fire in Lahaina that claimed nearly 100 lives, left dozens more missing, and displaced thousands more.


The People’s Fund of Maui was established with the hope of providing direct relief to individuals who are over the age of 18 and reside in Lahaina and Kula in the form of $1,200 monthly payments.

“Watching families and community come together after this tragedy is inspirational and I’m proud of our Polynesian people,” Johnson noted in the caption of the video. “Thank you to everyone who has helped by sending resources, love and prayers to all people affected by the fires and a loving mahalo and RESPECT to our OG cultural leaders, our local community organizations, and all our first responders and every person who came together to help our people.”

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