Bella Thorne Issues Apology After OnlyFans Controversy

After a controversial week, Thorne strove for a more reflective tone

Bella Thorne
Bella Thorne in early 2020.
MICHAEL TRAN/AFP via Getty Images

Did Bella Thorne setting up an OnlyFans account act as a seismic event for the service? It’s sparked a heated debate about whether the growing popularity of the service for celebrities is having an adverse effect on the creators who have been there for a while — especially sex workers.

After 1 day on the platform, Thorne earned $1 million, and faced calls to redistribute that money to sex workers. Thorne’s overall earnings from OnlyFans have only grown since then, with the total now in excess of $2 million. If you looked at this and thought that perhaps the backlash against Thorne had grown, you would be correct. Other creators on the platform have cited Thorne as the reason why OnlyFans implemented new policies and delayed payments to them.

Making matters even more complicated is the question of whether Thorne’s engagement with the platform is genuine or is the result of a somewhat different impulse. Thorne mentioned that her use of the platform was intended as research for an upcoming film — one in which she would work with The Florida Project director Sean Baker.

Baker, however, took to social media to deny this. “I’m actually in development on two features that I’ve put years of research and love in to and neither of these films have anything to do with Ms. Thorne or Onlyfans,
Baker wrote on Twitter.

Baker did allude to “a possible collaboration in the far future” with Thorne.

For her part, Thorne has issued an apology (also on Twitter), explaining her rationale for setting up an OnlyFans account and suggesting it’s of a piece with the film she directed for Pornhub last year.

As Charu Sinha notes at Vulture, Thorne has also vowed to meet with OnlyFans to discuss the service’s recent changes. It’s the latest step in an ongoing saga, but it seems likely that it isn’t the last one.

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