Dwayne Johnson Admits His Maui Wildfire Fund Announcement 'Could've Been Better'

"When you are living paycheck to paycheck, the last thing you want to hear is someone asking you for money," the actor said Monday on Instagram.

Actor Dwayne Johnson took to Instagram this past weekend to address the backlash he’s received over a Maui wildfire fund he started with media mogul Oprah Winfrey in late August.

After the fires killed nearly 100 people in Maui County and displaced thousands more, Johnson and Winfrey launched the People’s Fund of Maui with $10 million of seed money that the two celebrities donated themselves.

However, many people on social media went after the pair for not donating more of their own money or funding the initiative entirely, and instead asking for help from non-millionaires. According to Forbes, Johnson’s estimated net worth is $270 million, while Winfrey is reportedly worth $2.5 billion.

The New York Post quoted one person who pointed out that $10 million is a tiny percentage of Johnson and Winfrey’s combined fortunes, while another chastised them for “pleading for money.”

Winfrey told “CBS Mornings” last month that she felt “terrorized and vilified” by the public’s negative reaction to the fund and argued that if someone gave $10 million at a charity fundraiser, the organizers would call it “a good night.”

Johnson waited until Monday to address the backlash on Instagram, but he admitted he “could have been better” with the way he launched the fund.

In his video, the actor said he is aware that “money ain’t falling out of the sky, and it’s not growing on trees,” and that many Americans are “living paycheck to paycheck.”

He added: “I get it. I know what it’s like. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, the last thing you want to hear is someone asking you for money, especially when the person asking you for money already has a lot of money.”

In the caption to the video, Johnson also noted, “I’ve never launched a fund before - trust me, I’m a quick study and learn my lessons fast. I totally get it and I appreciate you.”

You can watch the video below.

Johnson and Winfrey are just a few of the celebrities who have tried to help Maui wildfire victims.

Jason Momoa and Barack Obama are encouraging donations to the Hawaii Community Foundation Maui County Strong Fund.

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