• Sat. Oct 31st, 2020

Sex workers blame Bella Thorne for changes at OnlyFans that harm their income

Sex workers and other content creators who use the OnlyFans platform to support their livelihoods are now blaming actress Bella Thorne for terms of service changes that include payment caps and holds.

The changes came after a number of people reportedly asked for refunds when Thorne charged $200 for a “naked” photo where she was not nude, according to The Los Angeles Times.

Content creators say the subscription service subsequently imposed payment caps of $50 on pay-per-view posts and a hold on payments that would force some international creators to wait 30 days to receive their money.

OnlyFans users who earn a significant portion of their income on the platform are blaming Thorne for the newly implemented policies now limiting their ability to make money.

The 22-year-old former Disney star made $1 million in her first day on the service, according to Variety.

OnlyFans did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News on the changes and to confirm the refund requests by Thorne’s subscribers.

Thorne posted a series of tweets on Saturday apologizing if she had impacted the ability for sex workers to make money. The actress and director said she only intended to normalize sex work and intends on speaking with OnlyFans platform about the new restrictions.

“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,” Thorne said.

Thorne told PAPER magazine that she was in the process of making a documentary about her experience on OnlyFans with Sean Baker, writer and director of critically acclaimed films “The Florida Project” and “Tangerine.” Baker released a statement Friday denying any involvement, claiming he had only discussed a “possible collaboration” with Thorne in the “far future” and advised her to consult with sex workers first.

“I am an ally and have literally devoted my career to tell stories that remove stigma and normalize lifestyles that are under attack,” Baker said. “I would never do anything that could possibly hurt the community.”

OnlyFans is not only a platform for sex workers, providing a wide range of creators the opportunity to sell content to subscribers, but the service has gained a reputation for offering a safe way for sex workers to earn money.

Critics who blame Thorne for the new changes have accused the actress of scamming her subscribers and hurting creators who use the platform as a primary source of income.

“I finally got caught up on Bella Thorne/ Only Fans, and a white Disney star and still *working* actress f—— up a platform that allowed sex workers to earn safely and with autonomy is basically THE snapshot of WW coopting spaces for the marginalized in the name of empowerment,” one Twitter user wrote.

Erika Hoedewald, an OnlyFans creator and Twitter user, posted a thread on Twitter explaining the harm created to sex workers with the reported changes. Hoedewald detailed how the platform can lose money in processing fees for refunds, which are provided if users are scammed, and how the changes to protect the platform in turn hurt creators.

“Previously, the funds you made on OF were only pending for a week, so most creators got paid at least once a week,” Hoedewald wrote. “Imagine suddenly going from a weekly paycheck to a monthly paycheck. That’s what’s happening to 450,000 content creators.”

The new $50 cap on posts comes out to about $30 for creators after platform fees and taxes whereas workers used to be able to charge $150 to $200, Hoedewald said. That results in a massive paycut and only a monthly payday.

“Now a lot of people fundamentally do not care about this predicament bc you don’t care about the lives and livelihoods of sex workers,” Hoedewald said. “And yet you still want to see porn, you just don’t believe the people who create it deserve to survive.”

Hoedewald did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News.