Bella Thorne's OnlyFans controversy throws light on another layer of sex work
The actress' recent scam that impacted the platform's policies brought major backlash from the general public.
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OnlyFans (OF) is a subscription-based social media platform that users can sell and/or purchase original content that is usually pornographic. Bella Thorne, a former Disney actress, joined the popular platform a week ago.
However, her actions make it seem most celebrities don’t take other peoples jobs as seriously as they should.
Since the pandemic, many sex workers have found themselves slim on jobs because of the social distancing guidelines in place. However, OnlyFans was working very well for sex workers making adult content because of its virtual platform. This is especially true of those who want to make adult content because OnlyFans’ platform still sits outside of an industry that is known for exploitation.
If you care about workers’ rights, income disparity, and economic justice, sex workers should always be a big part of your focus because we’re the canary in the coalmine for the crushing effects of capitalism.— Erika Heidewald if u think QAnon’s real ur dumb (@erikaheidewald) August 29, 2020
But Thorne, known for controversial behavior, decided to join OF despite her net worth of approximately $12 million. She disrupted the market by joining the website, and bragged about making $1 million dollars in her first day.
Thorne justified joining by claiming it was research for a new role in a movie by independent filmmaker, Sean Baker. She also claimed she was going to funnel the earnings into the production company and towards charity.
But, what was even worse about Thorne’s gesture is that she misled her followers.
She was charging $200 for nude pictures for about 50,000 subscribers. They weren’t even nudes, just photos of her in lingerie that I’m sure have also been seen on Google Images. Without hesitation, and rightfully so, the customers complained and got a refund.
After refunds en masse, processing costs, and time lost, the application made changes to its policies. The site now capped the creators a charge of $50 for exclusive content and no more than $100 in tips.
Previously, the amounts of payment were unregulated. Additionally, they will now get paid monthly instead of weekly.
The worst part is, after Thorne claimed it was for a role, Baker issued a statement making it clear he asked her to consult with sex workers, to not just make a profile on a website.
Finally, Thorne issued an apology claiming the stunt was to promote removing the stigma of sex work.
PT1 Remove the stigma behind sex, sex work, and the negativity that surrounds the word SEX itself by bringing a mainstream face to it that’s what I was trying to do, to help bring more faces to the site to create more revenue for content creators on the site.— BITCHIMBELLATHORNE (@bellathorne) August 29, 2020
Regardless of her real intention, it had a major negative impact, point blank, end of story.