Earlier this month, former Disney star and current ‘social media influencer’, Bella Thorne, joined OnlyFans and cleared $1 million in a single day, setting a record for the adult content subscription-based online platform. A week later, the number had grown to an unbelievable $2 million, and understandably, people in the sex work community are pissed off.
The 22-year-old joined OnlyFans – a platform largely dominated by sex workers – as “research for a film”.
At first, sex workers were initially frustrated that the internet celebrity was jumping on their bandwagon and possibly taking revenue from those who rely on OnlyFans to support their livelihoods. Especially during the coronavirus pandemic, where many workers have been forcibly furloughed and rely solely on online sex work on platforms such as OnlyFans.
However, the frustration escalated from intense scrutiny to outright anger when users began sharing a screenshot that Thorne was allegedly charging US$200 for. It was a “nude” pay-per-view photoset, which turned out to be a photo of her in a bikini.
Sex workers claim that a rush of people requesting refunds encouraged OnlyFans to implement a cap on PPV posts and tips, as well as earnings being paid out monthly instead of weekly for some creators.
OnlyFans said its new transaction rules were not due to one user and will "continue to review these limits" amid the backlash. Thorne apologised to sex workers via a series of tweets, stating she “wanted to bring attention to the site, the more people on the site the more likely of a chance to normalise the stigmas.” She also tweeted: “in this process I hurt you and for that I’m truly sorry.”
The actor also said she plans to meet with OnlyFans about the new restrictions, adding: "This is fucked up and I’m sorry (sic) comment any ideas or concerns you want brought up to OF!!"
Let’s hope some of that sweet $2 mil pay out goes where it’s needed most – the Scarlet Alliance, for example.