Oprah and her team turned away from Hawaii shelter as survivors of tragic fires continue to gather
- The part-time Hawaii resident was turned away on Sunday, despite being allowed in and filmed last week
- The TV host and billionaire businesswoman owns around 1,000 acres of land in Maui
Oprah Winfrey has been denied access to an emergency shelter on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where she had tried to bring a CBS film crew, as residents continue to struggle in the wake of the fires devastating that ravaged Lahaina.
In a statement, Maui County said, “Out of respect for those who have come seeking safety and shelter in emergency shelters, our policy remains that no media have access.”
“We invite Oprah to continue to uplift the spirit of our community and give her aloha to the victims of the tragic disaster and appreciate her understanding of our policy of no film crews or journalists in our emergency shelters. . Mahalo.’
Oprah Winfrey – a part-time Maui resident – visits the war memorial where survivors of the devastating fire are being sheltered
On Sunday morning, Winfrey and a CBS film crew were turned away from the shelter and told they weren’t allowed in due to a media ban policy.
Winfrey and a BBC crew were allowed into the shelter to record last Thursday
Burnt homes and buildings pictured following the wildfires in Lahaina, Maui. The death toll in the fires rose to 93 on Sunday
The devastated seaside town of Lahaina, which was essentially razed by a raging wildfire last week
Late last week, Winfrey gained access to Wailuku’s War Memorial Stadium, which is being used to house wildfire evacuees.
Despite the county’s policy of not allowing media access to the war memorial shelter, Winfrey was interviewed by the BBC inside the shelter, while she was there on Thursday to distribute supplies to survivors.
She told the BBC she went to the evacuation point earlier to ask what people needed, then went to big box stores to buy pillows, nappies, shampoo and more, before returning to the shelter.
It’s unclear why the BBC was allowed to tape Winfrey at the shelter on Thursday, but the CBS press crew she arrived with on Sunday morning were denied access.
Winfrey owns approximately 1,000 acres of land in Maui. It is not known how his property fared during the wildfires. Part of his real estate portfolio, according to The New York Times, includes hundreds of acres of land in the Kula area southeast of Lahaina – the fire-ravaged beach town.
The known death toll in the fires rose to 93 on Sunday.
Dailymail.com has contacted Maui County for comment.
Winfrey’s Maui Estate in the early 2000s. She owns some 1,000 acres in Maui
Oprah is one of many celebrities to be hosted on the island of Maui on a part-time basis
Donated clothing is placed in a parking lot for collections. Many families lost everything when their wood-frame homes went up in smoke
National Guard personnel direct traffic away from wildfire-damaged areas in Lahaina on Sunday
Smoke billows from fires near Lahaina. The forest fires were caused in part by strong winds
Oprah Winfrey is one of many celebrities who have homes on the island of Maui.
In addition to Oprah, the island hosts part-timers Jeff Bezos, Steven Tyler, Owen Wilson, Clint Eastwood and Mick Fleetwood.
After the fires, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez pledged $100 million for recovery efforts on Maui.