Oprah and crew turned away from Hawaii shelter

No special treatment: Oprah’s CBS camera crew are REFUSED entry to Lahaina wildfire shelter ‘out of respect for survivors seeking safety’ – days after part-time resident handed out supplies at same location

  • The part-time resident of Hawaii was turned away Sunday, despite being allowed in and captured on camera last week
  • The billionaire tv-host and businesswoman owns roughly 1,000 acres of land on Maui 

Oprah Winfrey was denied access to an emergency shelter on the Hawaiian island of Maui, where she had attempted to bring a CBS camera crew, as residents continue to struggle in the aftermath of the devastating fires that tore through Lahaina.

In a statement, the County of Maui said: ‘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.’

‘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 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 camera crew were turned away from the shelter and told they were not allowed in because of a no media policy


Winfrey along with a  BBC crew were allowed in  the shelter to record last Thursday

Burned hoouses and buildings pictured in the aftermath of the wildfires in Lahaina, Maui. The death toll from 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 was granted access to the War Memorial Stadium in Wailuku, which is being used to shelter evacuees from the wildfires.

Despite the County’s policy of granting no media access to the war memorial shelter, Winfrey was interviewed by the BBC inside the shelter, when she was there on Thursday to hand out supplies to survivors.

She told the BBC that she’d visited the evacuation point earlier to ask what people needed, and then gone to big box stores to pick up pillows, diapers, shampoo and more, before returning to the shelter. 

It’s not clear why the BBC were allowed to record Winfrey at the shelter on Thursday, but the CBS news crew with whom she arrived Sunday morning were denied access.

Winfrey owns some 1,000 acres of land on Maui. It is unclear how her property faired during the wildfires. Part of her real estate portfolio, according to the New York Times, includes hundreds of acres of land in the Kula area to the southeast of Lahaina – the seaside town devastated by the fires.

The known death toll from the fires climbed to 93 on Sunday. 

Dailymail.com has reached out to the County of Maui for comment.

Winfrey’s Maui estate in the early 2000s. She  owns  some 1,000 acres in Maui

Oprah is one of a large number of celebrities to whom the island of Maui plays part time host

Donated clothes are placed in a parking lot for collections. Many families lost everything when their wood framed homes went up in smoke

National Guard personnel direct traffic away from  the wildfire-damaged areas in Lahaina on Sunday

Smoke billows from the fires near Lahaina. The wildfires were drive in part by high winds

Oprah Winfrey is one of a large number of celebrities who have homes on the island of Maui.

In addition to Oprah, the island plays part time host to Jeff Bezos, Steven Tyler, Owen Wilson, Clint Eastwood, and Mick Fleetwood. 

Following the fires, Jeff Bezos and Lauren Sanchez pledged $100million to recovery efforts on Maui.  

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