Oprah Winfrey addressed criticism of the Maui wildfire fundraiser she launched with Dwayne Johnson. Despite the frustration, she defended their $5 million donations.
On CBS Mornings, Winfrey explained their idea to start a $10 million charity fund like Dolly Parton did after a natural disaster. However, Parton held a fundraising concert rather than asking fans for donations.
Winfrey didn’t expect the vitriol that followed. She was excited to help but woke up to see the backlash. They should have copied Parton’s plan exactly. Asking average people to donate when billionaires and multi-millionaires can fund it rubs people the wrong way.
The reaction dismayed Winfrey, though she doesn’t seem to grasp how her wealth insulates her from economic struggles. While well-intentioned, fans want to see the ultra-rich put up the money rather than seek public donations.
Winfrey heard the criticism loudly but still appeared confused. She could have avoided backlash by fully funding relief herself rather than pleading for public money. Her bubble blinded her to how that would be received.
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