Did Bella Thorne Using OnlyFans Take Away Revenue from Their Performers?

Nickelodeon Star, Bella Thorne, reportedly made $2 million dollars in under a week.

This photo is courtesy of metro.co.uk

This photo is courtesy of metro.co.uk

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In March, the fear of the pandemic finally set in with the billions of people worried if they will have jobs or not. Whether those jobs were working in retail or taught for a living, those in the sex industry were greatly affected. One of the many things people had to adjust in 2020 was being at home and going virtual. Being that a majority of student’s classes are instructed online, a majority of work has also shifted online. Those who worked in the sex industry are now out of work and decided to take their work virtual too. Becoming creators of their own content specific to them and performers to those who subscribe to them to a website called Onlyfans. The website allowed people in the sex industry to sell pictures, videos, and/or live chats with people who personally subscribed to them. This steady flow of income, from when the subscribers to a certain performer buy videos, pictures, and/or live chats,  allows people to keep their heads above water in a time where people are worried about money. According to XSRUS, the economics of Onlyfans states in 2019, Onlyfans had over 60,000 content creators (selling their videos, pictures, and/or live chats) and 7 million registered users (those who purchase the videos, pictures, and/or live chats); furthermore, extrapolating from the Google growth trends, it’s safe to say Onlyfans have at least 10 million users today. 

Those affected by the pandemic turned to Onlyfans, some not knowing how competitive it is to be noticed and liked on the website, but they worked hard to gain a following. Once the website gained subscribers, they had a job yet again with revenue coming in on a daily basis. According to XSRUS, the Onlyfans takes about 20% of the earnings, but they get to keep the rest plus tips. People will see a damper on their earnings because a mainstream face is drawing the revenue away from other performers. 

That mainstream face is 22-year-old actress, Bella Thorne. Thorne recently joined Onlyfans in hopes to gain proper insider knowledge into the everyday lives of Onlyfans performers. In two weeks, she has made $2 million dollars, charging $20 per viewer to access her page. All research for her upcoming film project with director Sean Parker. During this time, on August 27 Onlyfans changed their policies about how much money they could charge and how much money they could be tipped. Creators are only allowed to charge a maximum of $50 for additional pay-per-view content and allowed to accept a maximum of $100 in tips. Onlyfans addressed the changes in conversation with Vulture Magazine saying that Thorne is not the reason for these policy changes and that they are being implemented because transaction limits (mentioned above) are set to help prevent overspending and to allow our users to continue to use the site safely, but not formally addressing Thorne and how she made $2 million dollars in two weeks. Way more than what a typical performer would make in two weeks. 

The new rules put quite a damper on the creator’s ability to get paid what they normally get paid. Not allowing for a steady flow of income to come to those who rely on this website to get them by in this pandemic. Now, once those new policy changes were made, rumors started spreading that the new policy changes were possibly Thorne’s fault. Posts on social media claiming that Thorne was charging way above what a creator is supposed to charge. Advertising nude photos on her page for $200 per photo, but once users bought this photo and received it, the photo wasn’t of nude Thorne, like buyers were led to believe and users demanded refunds. The actress told the Los Angeles Times that she never even advertised nudity on her page. Onlyfans creators think otherwise. Thorne, being a successful actress and according to Onlyfans creator Jenna Foxx “[Thorne] is already rich”. 

For creators using this website, it may be their only source of income and someone famous like Bella Thorne using their celebrity status hurt the sex worker community. Creators like Jenna Foxx felt that Thorne, being a celebrity, took away from people who work hard to build their fan base because of her status. 

Sean Parker posted on twitter on August 28, denying working on any film with Thorne, just that they talked about a possible collaboration and to gain more insight to talk to people in the sex industry, but in no way hurt the sex industry in any way. The actress was never working on a film project in the first place, but on August 29, the actress issued an apology statement for those who work in the sex industry, saying she was only trying to bring positive awareness to those in that line of work. Further stating that Thorne was attempting to break a certain stigma behind being an Onlyfans creator and by being a mainstream face she thought it would bring more revenue to the site. In order to support the creators and bring more money to the site, but instead, the creators believe that it took more away then it brought. Thorne is trying to help other creators and promote their site to make up for her actions in a way, but creators do not think she would be able to help everyone who has been affected on the website. 

Even though Bella Thorne did issue an apology, these policy changes will forever negatively impact the workers on the Onlyfans website. Having limited on how much they can charge and how much in tips they can take in even further, their revenue will never be the same. This job may be their only full-time job and Bella Thorne’s actions, whether they were intentional or not, may just have affected an entire community of people that were greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.