Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson slams reporter over framing of Maui relief efforts: 'False clickbait garbage'


Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took issue with a recent report that touched on his financial commitment to Maui in the wake of last year’s devastating wildfires.

Johnson described the report from Nick Sortor as “toxic, false clickbait garbage.” Johnson pushed back against the way the report framed his recent appearance at a WWE press conference in Las Vegas. A video from the event in question showed attendees booing at the 51-year-old wrestler and actor.

Sortor suggested the crowd’s negative reaction stemmed from Johnson failing to deliver on his pledge to help provide financial support to the Hawaiian island. 

“Dwayne Johnson promised TENS OF MILLIONS to the victims of the Maui fires, but many victims still have not seen a dime,” he wrote on X, the company formerly known as Twitter. 

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Sep 8, 2022; Inglewood, California, USA; American actor Dwayne Johnson attends the game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Buffalo Bills at SoFi Stadium. (Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

The reporter then claimed that “many” victims had not received any financial relief from the WWE superstar.

“Dwayne Johnson promised TENS OF MILLIONS to the victims of the Maui fires, but many victims still have not seen a dime,” Sortor wrote.

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Although it is difficult to clearly decipher the chanting, the reporter asserted that the shouts from the crowd were directly related to the alleged Maui wildfire donation discrepancy. 

“The crowd started booing and chanting ‘MAUI! MAUI! MAUI!” MAKE IT HAPPEN!'”

Last year, Johnson along with media mogul Oprah Winfrey launched the “People’s Fund of Maui” to assist those who were negatively impacted by the wildfires. Johnson and Winfrey jump-started the campaign by making an initial $10 million donation. However, backlash has grown in the weeks and months since the fund was started back in August 2023.

Johnson decided to address the controversy last October. 

“I could have been better, and next time, I will be better,” the WWE superstar said at the time.

Dwayne Johnson at XFL game

Feb 18, 2023; Arlington, TX, USA; XFL owner Dwayne Johnson on the sidelines during the first half between the Vegas Vipers and the Arlington Renegades at Choctaw Stadium. (Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports)

Johnson also decided to respond to the claim from Sortor, but this time he took a much stronger approach.

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

“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.”

Maui wildfire devastation

In an aerial view, burned structures and cars are seen nearly two months after a devastating wildfire on October 07, 2023 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Johnson also provided some clarification on the amount of money that the fund has provided for wildfire victims. He also mentioned that he traveled to Hawaii and challenged Sortor to pay the island state a visit.

“Our People’s Fund of Maui has already DELIVERED over $50 MILLION DOLLARS 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,” Johnson wrote.

“Nick, instead of posting bu—–t like this that you know is false — I encourage you to post something positive for Hawaii, for our Polynesian American people. Or actually take positive action and come to Hawaii to help out in an uplifting way. I’m in Hawaii now, and I guarantee you, you’ll get great content that can actually make a difference in people’s lives. Genuinely.”

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Sortor admitted in a follow-up post on X that Johnson’s explanation for the booing seemed “to have some validity,” but he decided not to remove his original post because he wants “to provide context to the ongoing dispute between the two of us regarding funding for Maui.”

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