Oprah Winfrey’s film crew was turned away from a Maui wildfire shelter this weekend while Jason Momoa advised tourists not to visit the devastated Hawaiian island, RadarOnline.com has learned.
In the latest development to come after a series of wildfires raged across Lahaina, Maui last week, Oprah and her crew reportedly tried to gain access to a wildfire shelter set up for residents affected by the disaster.But while the 69-year-old producer and former talk show host’s CBS film crew was denied access to the shelter “out of respect to those seeking safety,” Oprah was ultimately allowed inside.
The County of Maui released a statement in which they explained their position, confirmed Oprah was granted access, and thanked the billionaire for her help and support in uplifting the affected Hawaiian community’s spirits.
“Out of respect for those who have come to seek safety and shelter at emergency shelters, our policy remains that no media are given access,” the county said. “We welcome Oprah to continue to uplift our community’s spirit and give her aloha to victims of the tragic disaster and appreciate her understanding of our policy of no camera crews or reporters in our emergency shelters. Mahalo.”
“Oprah was able to visit our shelter and we thank her for instructing media journalists and camera crews to remain outside,” Maui County wrote in another statement. “We welcome Oprah to continue to uplift our community’s spirit and give her aloha to victims of the tragic disaster.””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.”
Meanwhile, actor and Honolulu native Jason Momoa issued a series of Instagram posts in which he urged tourists not to visit Maui as the island’s residents work to “heal, grieve, and restore” their community following last week’s wildfires.
“Do not travel to Maui,” the Aquaman star wrote. “If you were planning on traveling to Maui shortly, cancel your trip.”
“The devastation from the wildfires will have a lasting island-wide impact on Maui’s resources,” Momoa added.Oprah and Momoa are among the dozens of celebrities who own homes and properties on the island that was devastated by a series of wildfires last week.
The death toll from the disaster rose to 96 on Monday morning, while hundreds of residents remain missing and tens of thousands expect to be permanently displaced.
Never miss a story — sign up for the RadarOnline.com newsletter to get your daily dose of dope. Daily. Breaking. Celebrity news. All free.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos owns a $78 million 14-acre estate approximately 20 miles south of where the wildfires burned last week, and his fiancée – Lauren Sanchez – announced that the couple would be making numerous donations to help in the aftermath of the disaster.
“Jeff and I have been on the phone with residents and officials, and will be making donations to help,” she wrote on Threats over the weekend.Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac fame also announced that his Maui restaurant burned down in the fires.
He issued a tribute to his devastated home and emphasized the “unimaginable loss” the island suffered.
“Maui and the Lahaina community have been my home for several decades,” Fleetwood wrote last week. “This is a devastating moment for Maui, and many are suffering unimaginable loss.”