“I won’t stay quiet”: Dwayne Johnson Breaks Silence on Million Dollars Maui Fires Funding With Oprah Winfrey in Brutal Tweet to Defend His Image

Journalist Nick Sortor's critical accusation against Dwayne Johnson has met a brutal response from the WWE star.

“I won’t stay quiet”: Dwayne Johnson Breaks Silence on Million Dollars Maui Fires Funding With Oprah Winfrey in Brutal Tweet to Defend His Image


  • Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey have been accused of not fulfilling their promise of 'tens of millions' in aid to the victims of Maui wildfires through their joint fundraiser.
  • Nick Sortor on X posted a clip from the WrestleMania XL Press Conference where the crowd booed Dwayne Johnson, alleging they protested against his non-delivery of the relief funds.
  • In reality, the context of the footage was misrepresented, and Johnson was compelled to slam the accusation against him in a scathing statement.
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Amid Dwayne Johnson turning ‘heel’ at the recent WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Press Conference and getting booed by the audiences, a wild accusation has been made against him and American talk show host and television producer Oprah Winfrey.


The crowd chanting ‘Cody’ (referring to Cody Rhodes, whose WrestleMania XL spot in the main event against Roman Reigns was previously in-storyline ‘taken’ by The Rock) has been twisted into a bewildering allegation that the 51-year-old WWE star was compelled to respond to.

Dwayne Johnson responds to a misinformed allegation. Image Credit: WWE
Dwayne Johnson responds to a misinformed allegation. Image Credit: WWE

He issued a statement against the misinformed stance of internet personality and journalist Nick Sortor, who accused Johnson and Winfrey of promising ‘tens of millions’ in aid to the victims of Maui wildfires through their joint fundraiser, People’s Fund of Maui, which was launched in late August 2023, but not following suit with such promises as “many victims still have not seen a dime.”


Sortor, including a clip from the press conference, incorrectly stated on X that the Jumanji alum’s boos by WWE fans at the Thursday event were their way of expressing their disapproval against this. He further alleged that the crowd was chanting, ‘Maui.’ 

In his response, Dwayne Johnson put forth a context to the distorted meaning attributed to the footage and called out the original post for being ‘toxic, false clickbait garbage.’ The Hollywood star prefaced that he usually refrains from responding to such misleading narratives but will take a stand against using a tragic event from Hawaii as a sensationalized attention-grabber.

Dwayne Johnson’s Scathing Response To The Allegation Of Not Fulfilling Maui Relief Funds Promises

Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey launched the People’s Fund of Maui
Dwayne Johnson and Oprah Winfrey launched the People’s Fund of Maui.

The People’s Fund of Maui previously encountered extensive criticism for urging people to donate money to help those displaced in Lahaina and Kula by the Maui wildfires.


Although the two celebrities who launched the initiative donated $5 million each to kick off the campaign, many contended that wealthy individuals like Oprah Winfrey and Dwayne Johnson could have effortlessly contributed more to the fund (given their mind-boggling Net Worth) rather than relying on those who may not have similar means to support the cause.

This was addressed by both Winfrey and Johnson last year, the latter of whom promised to ‘do better.’

Now, months later, a critical accusation has been made against Johnson, where journalist Nick Sortor (via X) posted a clip from the WWE WrestleMania 40 Kickoff event alleging that the crowd was protesting against supposed ‘unfulfilled promises’ to the victims of Maui wildfires. Sortor further asserted, “Oprah and Dwayne Johnson promised tens of millions to the victims of the Maui fires, but many victims still have not seen a dime.”


Slamming the allegation of not following through with offering millions in aid to those in need through the People’s Fund of Maui, The Rock prefaced (via X):

“I typically refrain from responding to toxic, false clickbait garbage like this because I hate dignifying bulls–t with a response, but when you use Hawaii’s tragic events to draw attention to yourself, I won’t stay quiet.”

the rock wrestlemania
Dwayne Johnson issues a scathing clarification to false allegations made against him.

He then explained the distorted, misleading meaning given to the WrestleMania 40 Kickoff Press Event clip, describing how he had to portray a ‘heel’ character (in pro-wrestling jargon, the villain). And that is what the fans were booing at. Dwayne Johnson said:

“This moment you’re referring to is from our @WWE press conference this past Thursday where I turned “heel”—wrestling parlance for bad guy. I’m playing it up with our crowd as they boo. It’s what we do in our WWE universe. And we all love every second of it.”

He also refuted the claims against him and the co-launched campaign for failing to provide financial aid to those in need following the early August 2023 wildfires in Hawaii. Providing the facts and figures, Johnson revealed:


“Our People’s Fund of Maui has already DELIVERED over $50 MILLION DOLLARS [sic] to over 8,000 survivors who were affected by the fires. And I’m grateful to the bone that we’ve been the primary funders.”

In his statement, he eventually affirmed solidarity with the indigenous Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands. He also urged journalist Nick Sortor to raise awareness by taking positive action instead of relying on click-baited negativity that uses a grave issue for toxic sensationalism.

Dwayne Johnson Urged People To Utilize Their Voice On Social Media For Raising Awareness

Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)
Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Following his condemnation of the unfounded claim and providing facts and figures to elucidate the context, Dwayne Johnson encouraged internet users to use social media platforms for awareness-raising to help effectively combat suffering. He also urged Nick Sortor, who morphed the backdrop to harmless, played-up footage set in-storyline in the WWE, to refrain from disseminating misleading information and focus on helping out “in an uplifting way.”

But first, being of Samoan descent, he helped shine a light on the resilience exhibited by the Hawaiian Polynesian people, who are presently struggling to get back on their feet amid hardships:


“Hawaii is where I grew up, where I raise my children throughout the year, and where my ancestors are buried. These are my Polynesian people, and these are OUR American people. You can’t imagine how much they are still struggling daily to put their lives back together and take care of each other. Our Poly-American people are as resilient as people come, and they will raise and get back on their feet.”

He eventually concluded, “It takes so much effort to be negative and create and spread bulls–t—but when you spread positivity, kindness, and lead by example, you can really impact lives.”

Dwayne Johnson in Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)
Dwayne Johnson in Fast & Furious: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Previously, as the People’s Fund of Maui was caught up in extensive backlash, Dwayne Johnson acknowledged it in an Instagram video last October.

Johnson declared that “thousands and thousands of survivors and families” had received the first wave of monthly checks from the joint fundraiser. The relief effort introduced by Winfrey and Johnson assists every adult resident who lives in the impacted area and was displaced by the wildfires in Lahaina and Kula, who, upon application, are eligible to receive $1200 per month.


Since it was his first time launching a fund, the WWE star affirmed then that he understood the source of the criticism, promising to endeavor to do better.


Written by Debdipta Bhattacharya

Articles Published: 659

Debdipta Bhattacharya is a content writer at FandomWire, where she has written more than 500 articles on various topics of interest. She possesses a sincere passion for popular culture, anime, film production, and the evolving world of YouTube and streaming culture which has allowed her to be a devoted and well-informed writer. Debdipta holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication. She has honed her skills and expertise in content writing with over two years of experience and strives to learn and grow daily.