Bella Thorne’s controversial foray into OnlyFans is the focus of this clip from OnlyFans: Selling Sexy, a new Hulu documentary about the subscription platform where creators sell content directly to their fans.
The site, a favorite of the sex work community, reached the mainstream in August 2020 when, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, former child star Bella Thorne announced she would join the service.
In this clip from the documentary, comedian Nikki Glaser, OnlyFans content creators and Rolling Stone’s EJ Dickson — who wrote extensively about Thorne’s OnlyFans page — talk about the actress joining the site and the impact it had on OnlyFans.
“Allegedly, in 24 hours, she made $1 million,” Dickson says in the clip. “But then she was very quick to follow it up on Twitter with ‘Ha, not posting any nudes.’ A lot of it was just hype over, you know, the prospect of seeing this former Disney star naked.”
Dickson says, “And I think there was also this aspect of ‘Oh, Bella Thorne is really working to destigmatize sex work, like this is so transgressive.’ But that is not how actual sex workers felt about it at all.”
Thorne would ultimately apologize to sex workers, writing on social media, “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. 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.”