Oprah Winfrey slammed for Maui fires fund non-apology: ‘Cry me a river’

Oprah Winfrey slammed for Maui fires fund non-apology: ‘Cry me a river’

Oprah Winfrey critics are not impressed with her “non-apology” for her Maui fires donation controversy. 

Earlier this month, the former talk show host and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson faced backlash from the public after asking fans to donate money to help those affected by the Maui wildfires — despite having a combined net worth of more than $2.8 billion.

Although Winfrey, 69, and Johnson, 51, each donated $5 million apiece of their own money to the fund, fans commented that this was a drop in the bucket. 

“Billionaire asking for money from the poor, what a joke,” an outraged fan commented on Winfrey’s Instagram video.

Oprah and Dwayne Johnson talking to a camera together.
Fans commented “what a joke” after Oprah and The Rock asked for donation money.

Oprah talking on CBS Mornings.
Oprah commented on the unexpected “vitriol.”

“You have billions. You could donate $100 million and still be as wealthy as before donating. YOU give the money,” Maribel Rubio criticized Winfrey. 

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

During an interview on “CBS Mornings” on Tuesday, Winfrey broke her silence about the backlash while speaking with best friend Gayle King. 

“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?’” she said. “It made me sad that we are at this state in our country.”

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Oprah talking on CBS Mornings.
Oprah said that she said “What happened, here?” after seeing the negative reaction online.

Destroyed buildings following August wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii.
Destroyed buildings following August wildfires in Lahaina, Hawaii.

However, a non-apology isn’t passing muster with fans and critics, who are still slamming her on social media, and accusing her of “playing the victim.”

“Oprah playing the victim while trying to sell her book. Gross,” one viewer commented about her “CBS Mornings” interview. 

Another viewer posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, “Well this didn’t take long- Oprah Winfrey now say’s [sic] that she’s a victim of the Maui fire because people got mad at her when she asked them for donations instead of using some of her own billions to assist Maui residents who lost all in the fires.”

Comments on the YouTube page for Tuesday’s interview are also filled with angry viewers.

“Begging people for charity money while offering less than 5% of her own money must make Oprah very happy. She sure does deflect, doesn’t she?” one fan wrote.

“I wanna say from the bottom of my heart f–k Oprah!! Shes really acting like a victim,” another angry fan said.

“Poor Oprah, cry me a river,” another viewer complained. “People have lost their homes, there loved ones, and the government is trying to steal their land. We are supposed to feel sorry for a billionaire who gets called out for trying to further exploit the situation??”

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Oprah talking to the camera in a hat.
Oprah posted several videos about the fund.

Oprah and Dwayne Johnson.
Fans are still angry about Oprah and Dwayne Johnson’s donation fund.

Oprah in a chair, talking.
Fans accused Oprah of “playing the victim.”
Getty Images

On Tuesday, Winfrey also revealed that she was inspired by Dolly Parton, who organized a support fund to aid victims of wildfires in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, in 2017. 

After acknowledging that she was blindsided by the “vitriol,” Winfrey said she’s still standing behind the idea for the fund. 

“We’re going to create something and I still think it’s a really strong idea,” she noted at the time. 

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