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‘You Got What You Wanted’: Outraged Hawaii Resident Blames Oprah Winfrey for Maui Wildfires Amid Reports About Her Growing Popularity on Social Media

by Jessica
2.9K views

Oprah Winfrey’s recent land acquisitions in Maui and her response to the Maui wildfires, which began on August 8, have sparked a range of reactions from the public. The media magnate, who owns over 2,000 acres of land in the area, appeared on the scene to offer assistance to those affected by the devastating four-day fire that caused destruction to homes, businesses, and the environment.

However, both Winfrey and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos are now facing blame for the aftermath that local residents are grappling with. A video clip from a recent Maui County Council meeting went viral, featuring a woman known as “Auntie” expressing frustration about the perceived lack of urgency in firefighting efforts.

In her emotional statement, she highlighted the absence of communication, stating that phones were non-functional during the early stages of the fire, and water was scarce for hours. She questioned whether the destruction of a “satellite city” was coincidental, suggesting that this might influence property values and land purchasing.

Directing her frustration towards Winfrey and Bezos, she exclaimed, “Well, hey, Jeff Bezos, you got what you wanted, Oprah, you got what you wanted … f—k us over!” She expressed concern that the affected residents were left without assistance beyond a $700 check and criticized the cultural insensitivity displayed.

Despite the backlash, Winfrey saw a surge in her social media following, gaining nearly 110,000 new followers across Instagram and TikTok. This growth in followers, however, coincided with two conspiracy theories circulating online.

One theory posits that Winfrey’s involvement in helping locals was motivated by “publicity,” suggesting that her camera crew’s behavior in a shelter fueled suspicions. Another conspiracy alleges that Winfrey might be linked to the fire’s origin, emphasizing that her properties remained untouched by the blaze.

Matt Wallace, a user on social media platform X, fueled the latter theory, hinting that Winfrey might have started the fire. He pointed out her significant land acquisitions in Maui over the years and highlighted that her properties remained unaffected while nearby homes suffered damage. Wallace also suggested that the government might be concealing information about her connection to the fire.

Despite these theories, Winfrey’s social media platforms experienced an increase in followers. Her Instagram account gained around 92,000 followers, and her TikTok followers increased by 20,000 in the past month. However, she lost over 60,000 followers on her X account during the same period.

Part of this rise in followers may be attributed to images depicting Winfrey actively assisting those in need in Hawaii in the aftermath of the wildfires. In the days following the fire’s outbreak, Winfrey visited the most impacted areas to assess the needs of the displaced and affected individuals firsthand.

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