Well done to whoever had the guts to say no to Oprah Winfrey as TV crew is banned from Maui fire shelter

With hundreds of missing persons still unaccounted for, Oprah Winfrey’s outreach to Maui wildfire survivors was met with mixed response after an accompanying camera crew was turned away.

In her latest of a number of visits to sheltering survivors, the celebrity media mogul’s Sunday trip to the War Memorial Complex in Wailuku, Hawaii caused a stir when a seemingly overlooked policy was enforced.

Days after appearing on film inside the facility when speaking with the BBC, Winfrey’s attempt to bring a CBS crew with her led the County of Maui to issue a statement on Facebook.

“To clarify, Oprah was able to visit our shelter and we thank her for instructing media journalists and camera crews to remain outside. We welcome Oprah to continue to uplift our community’s spirit and give her aloha to victims of the tragic disaster,” the post read. “Her visit inside of the shelter today was truly heartwarming and we appreciate her understanding of our policy of having no camera crews or reporters accompanying dignitaries and celebrities in our emergency shelters.”

As indicated, the media tycoon, who herself has lived part-time in Hawaii accumulating roughly 2,000 acres of land over 15 years according to multiple reports, had spoken with the BBC from within the shelter days earlier and expressed, “It’s a little overwhelming, you know. But I’m really so pleased to have so many people, you know, supporting, and people are just bringing what they can and doing what they can.”

Following her camera crew getting turned away, Winfrey was featured in an interview with Hawaii News Now were she explained her personal involvement in lending aid, “In a week or two, all the cameras will be gone and the rest of the world is gonna move on with their lives and we’re all still going to be here trying to figure out what is the best way to rebuild.”

“I will be here for the long-haul, doing what I can,” she noted and explained her contributions thus far. “I brought personal hygiene products and the other day it was towels and sheets and pillows and the day before that it was water.”

Additionally, the wealthy celebrity took to her Instagram account and asserted, “When you don’t know what to do, you do whatever you can.”

“At some point I will make a major donation after all the smoke and the ashes have settled here and we figure out what the rebuilding is going to look like,” she added.


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A post shared by Oprah Daily (@oprahdaily)

As of Sunday, the Maui Police Department had reported at least 96 confirmed fatalities with the majority having yet to be identified and the whereabouts of many remained unaccounted for. Additionally, though much of the wildfires had been contained they had yet to be fully extinguished.

On social media, while many expressed gratitude to Winfrey for contributing to relief efforts, others saw her attempt to film aid as merely grift.


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