Bella Thorne apologized to sex workers who criticized her decision to join OnlyFans, which many content creators feared could negatively impact their revenue streams and further stigmatize the work they do.
“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,” Thorne wrote in a series of tweets Saturday, August 29th. “I wanted to bring attention to the site, the more people on the site the more likely of a chance to normalize the stigmas, and in trying to do this I hurt you.”
OnlyFans is a subscription platform that allows creators to sell content directly to fans, and since arriving in 2016 has primarily been used by sex workers. Since the Covid-19 pandemic hit the United States in March, it’s seen an enormous spike in signups, with Beyoncé name-checking it on the “Savage” remix and celebrities like Cardi B and Black Chyna joining it as well. Last week, Thorne revealed that she was joining the platform, too, and immediately set a record, becoming the first creator to make more than $1 million in 24 hours, and then topping $2 million by the end of the week.
On social media, however, many sex workers who rely on OnlyFans expressed their discontent. Many worried that the mainstreaming of the platform would oversaturate the market and further marginalize sex workers who rely on it. (As Rolling Stone previously reported, many sex workers on OnlyFans have raised concerns that the platform is slowly pushing them out, a claim that OnlyFans has denied.) Additionally, after Thorne’s first-week windfall, OnlyFans implemented changes to how much content creators could be paid per post and in tips, which many suggested was tied to Thorne’s success; OnlyFans said the changes were “not based on any one user.”