Winfrey: Maui Fire Donation Request Backlash ‘Made Me Sad’

Winfrey: Maui Fire Donation Request Backlash ‘Made Me Sad’

September 18, 2023

In an interview with CBS Mornings, billionaire media mogul Oprah Winfrey said she was shocked over the “onslaught of being terrorized and vilified online” in response to her urging the public to donate money toward the victims of the Maui wildfires.

“All the online, you know, being — attacks, lies, conspiracy theories, really took the focus off of what was the most important thing, and that was the people of Maui,” Winfrey insisted.

Oprah (estimated net worth of $2.8 billion) explained that she and actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson (estimated net worth of $800 million) were inspired by country star Dolly Parton, who in 2017 organized a fund to help victims of wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

“We thought — because of both of us have given to charities our whole lives — starting the fund with $10 million would be a great idea, because any of us who have ever been to any benefit, you know, you go to a benefit and somebody gives $10 million, that’s called a good night,” Winfrey said. “So, we thought, $10 million, we start off the fun, we’ll do what Dolly did, get other people to give money, and then we’ll put it directly into the people’s bank accounts. 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?’”

“It made me sad that we are at this state in our country,” Winfrey concluded.

“I would but I’m broke…you two got this though!” one social media user wrote in reaction to the wealthy celebs’ request that the public donate money.

“Billionaire asking for money from the poor, what a joke,” another commented.

“This should be a private message between you and your billionaire mates,” another advised. “It’s so outrageous that you are pleading for money.”

“How is the richest woman in the world asking for money?” another asked. “Make it make sense.”

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