Paris Hilton faces backlash for vacationing in Maui amid wildfires


Paris Hilton, the billionaire heiress and reality TV star, has been criticized for taking a family vacation in Maui, Hawaii, while the island is struggling with devastating wildfires that have killed at least 96 people. Hilton, her husband Carter Reum, and their 8-month-old son Phoenix were spotted frolicking on a beach in Wailea, a luxury resort community in south Maui, just 30 miles away from the historic town of Lahaina, where the flames have destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

The socialite was seen wearing a light blue cover-up and a seashell bag, while holding a giant inflatable rubber duck. She also carried a diamond-encrusted travel cup and smiled as she walked hand-in-hand with her husband, who wore pink swim trunks.

Paris Hilton faces backlash for vacationing in Maui amid wildfires
Paris Hilton faces backlash for vacationing in Maui amid wildfires

The pictures of the happy family holiday were in stark contrast to the scenes of devastation and despair in Lahaina, where locals were forced to flee into the sea to escape the inferno. Some residents have reported looting and vandalism in the aftermath of the fire, while others have slammed the authorities for failing to warn them in time or provide adequate assistance. The Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) has pleaded with tourists to leave Maui and avoid non-essential travel to the island, as rescue and recovery efforts continue. However, Hilton apparently ignored the plea and stayed on the island, sparking a massive social media backlash.

Hilton claims to be helping the fire victims

A source close to Hilton told the Daily Mail that she and her family were not only there for leisure, but also to help the fire victims. “She has been absolutely helping. Maui has always held a special place in her heart,” the source said. “She has been gathering supplies and taking them to shelters and those who need. She already did and continues to do so.” However, the source did not provide any evidence or details of Hilton’s alleged charitable activities. Hilton herself has not posted anything on her social media accounts about the wildfires or her involvement in relief efforts. Instead, she has shared photos and videos of her previous trips to Greece and Italy, where she described having “an incredible escape” after weeks of “performances, shoots and mommy duties”.

Many social media users have expressed their outrage and disbelief at Hilton’s behavior, calling her “tone deaf”, “insensitive”, “ghastly” and “disgusting”. Some have also questioned why she was allowed to enter Maui amid travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hawaii has implemented a Safe Travels program that requires travelers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result before entering the state. However, some exemptions are granted for essential workers, medical reasons or family emergencies. It is unclear whether Hilton qualified for any of these exemptions or followed the proper protocols.

Wildfires pose a serious threat to Hawaii’s environment and economy

The wildfires that have ravaged Maui are part of a larger problem that Hawaii faces due to climate change, drought and invasive species. According to experts, wildfires have increased in frequency and intensity in recent years, threatening the state’s unique ecosystems, wildlife and cultural heritage. Wildfires also pose a serious risk to Hawaii’s economy, which relies heavily on tourism and agriculture. The HTA estimates that the state has suffered $5.6 billion in losses due to the fires, which have also damaged infrastructure, crops and water sources.

Some celebrities have shown their support and solidarity with Hawaii during this difficult time. Jason Momoa, the actor and Honolulu native who starred in Aquaman, urged tourists to leave Maui and respect the locals who are suffering from the disaster. He also shared a video of himself visiting Lahaina and meeting with some of the fire survivors. He said he was heartbroken by what he saw and vowed to do whatever he can to help rebuild the town. He also thanked the firefighters, volunteers and donors who have been working tirelessly to contain the blaze and assist the affected communities.


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