Controversial celebrity Bella Thorne may have joined the popular subscription platform, OnlyFans, in a bid to reduce the stigma around sex work but she may have unwittingly endangered the livelihoods of thousands of sex workers.
Hundreds of performers on the site spoke out against Thorne’s decision to join the platform and accused her of taking opportunities from workers who are relying on the platform for income during the pandemic. Because of her arrival and a subsequently alleged scam, the platform updated its rules to state that no performer on the site can now charge more than $50 for pay-per-view content and that none of its more than 30 million users can tip more than $100.
While earlier, payment from the site was received in a week, they now have to wait for 30 days to receive payment.
According to Erika Heidewald, an OnlyFans performer, Thorne sent out a $200 PPV message that she claimed was a nude photo but when subscribers paid to open it, they found it was not completely nude as they had expected.
“So suddenly a fuck ton of people ask for a charge back and this causes problems for OnlyFans bc they have processing costs, so people suddenly requesting millions in chargebacks makes them lose a lot of money,” writes Heidewald, adding: “To be able to pay all those people back and prevent such a massive chargeback problem in the future, OnlyFans changes their policies so now the maximum price for a PPV message is $50, maximum tip someone can send is $100, and all the money you make on OF is pending for 30 days.”
Thorne has since apologised to sex workers on her Twitter platform.
“I wanted to bring attention to the site,” she wrote on Twitter. “The more people on the site, the more likely of a change to normalize the stigmas… I have risked my career a few times to remove the stigma behind sex work, porn and the natural hatred people spew behind anything sex related. I wrote and directed a porn against the high brows of my peers and managers because I wanted to help with the stigma behind sex.”