Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson weighed in on the controversy related to the People’s Fund for Maui, which he created with Oprah Winfrey to help aid victims of the devastating wildfires which ravaged the island in August 2023.
The 51-year-old actor teamed up with Oprah to launch the fund by pledging a combined $10 million to kick things off. But many followers criticized the move, accusing the wealthy celebrities of not contributing enough themselves, plus of being presumptuous that people who are struggling with inflation could afford to contribute at all.
“When we first launched the fund, there was some backlash that came with launching the fund, and I want to address that backlash,” Johnson said in a video he posted to Instagram. “I get it, and I completely understand, and I could have been better. And next time, I will be better.”
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The “Black Adam” actor went on to say how he understands 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” in the current economy.
“I get it. I know what it’s like. I’ve lived paycheck to paycheck,” Johnson continued. “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.”
The actor admitted he could have handled launching the campaign differently and promised to learn from this experience.
Johnson expanded on this in the caption, writing, “Our connection is everything because we only know how to be REAL with each other. You always tell me the truth — good or bad — I’ll always appreciate and protect that straight talk between us — you have my word to always listen, learn, grow and do better.”
“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.”
The “Fast X” star concluded by telling fans that “thousands and thousands of survivors, the families, have now, over the past couple of weeks, 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.”