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dwayne johnson
Image via Dwayne Johnson/Disney

‘You have my word to always listen, learn, grow, and do better’: Mega-rich Dwayne Johnson addresses backlash over asking people for money

With an estimated net worth of $800 million, the optics weren't great.

Negative publicity isn’t exactly something Dwayne Johnson has had to deal with all that often throughout his career as both a professional wrestler and A-list movie star, but he found himself under constant fire following the announcement of his Maui relief fund launched alongside Oprah Winfrey.

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While the duo did invest $5 million apiece of their own cash to get the ball rolling, the fact The Rock is the significantly less wealthy of the two despite an estimated net worth of $800 million saw the celebrity pairing blasted from all corners for asking regular folks to put their hands in their pockets and lend a financial assist.

Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson
Screenshot via Instagram

Having skirted around the issue previously, Johnson has now taken to Instagram and offered an update on the progress of the wildfire fund, as well as acknowledging the backlash pointed in his direction and pledging to both learn and atone from a mistake that saw his previously squeaky-clean public perception take a sustained battering.

“I’m so grateful and moved by all the messages I’m receiving out of Maui from the survivors of the devastating wildfires who are now getting their personal funding from The People’s Fund of Maui.
The strength of our people of Maui is beautiful and inspiring. Watching families and community come together after this tragedy is inspirational and I’m proud of our Polynesian people.

Thank you to everyone who has helped by sending resources, love and prayers to all people affected by the fires and a loving mahalo and RESPECT to our OG cultural leaders, our local community organizations, and all our first responders and every person who came together to help our people.

And to everyone in my social media community right here. 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 – trust me, I’m a quick study and learn my lessons fast. I totally get it and I appreciate you.”

Based on the comments and replies, the response to his latest statement on the subject has gone down a lot better than it ever did previously, making it look as though the controversy has at least been stemmed, if not entirely subsided.

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Scott Campbell
News, reviews, interviews. To paraphrase Keanu Reeves; Words. Lots of words.