Actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson recently responded to the criticism surrounding the People’s Fund for Maui, a charitable initiative he created with Oprah Winfrey to support victims of the devastating wildfires that struck the island in August 2023.
Both Johnson and Winfrey originally pledged a combined $10 million to launch the fund, but many followers on social media criticized the move, accusing the wealthy celebrities of not contributing enough themselves and being out of touch with the financial struggles of everyday Americans.
In response, Johnson took to Instagram to address the backlash and acknowledge the valid concerns raised by fans. “When we first launched the fund, there was some backlash that came with it, and I want to address that,” the 51-year-old actor said in a video.
“I get it, and I completely understand, and I could have been better. And next time, I will be better,” he continued. “I know what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. I understand that money doesn’t grow on trees, and I know many Americans are struggling in this economy. The last thing they want to hear is someone with a lot of money asking for more.”
Johnson went on to say that he could have approached the launch of the fund differently and promised to learn from this experience. “Our connection is everything because we only know how to be real with each other,” he wrote in the caption of his post. “You always tell me the truth – good or bad – and I’ll always appreciate and protect that straight talk between us.”
“I’ve never launched a fund before, but I’m a quick study and learn my lessons fast,” he added. “I totally get it, and I appreciate you.”
View this post on Instagram
The “Black Adam” star also gave an update on the fund, sharing that thousands of survivors have started to receive their first round of funds. “They’re receiving their money, and I gotta tell you, it’s been the most gratifying and moving thing,” he said.
Johnson’s response to the backlash was met with mixed reactions, with some praising him for acknowledging the criticism and others still questioning whether the initial donation was enough. However, it seems the fund has already made a positive impact on those it was created to help.
In his video, Johnson also expressed gratitude to fans for their continued support and promised to listen, learn, and do better in the future. As one of Hollywood’s most recognizable and successful stars, it is clear that Johnson takes his role as a public figure seriously and is committed to using his platform for good.