Bella Thorne had two choices: stay home and collect royalties from her Disney Channel days, or actively fuck with working-class sex workers. Unfortunately, she chose the latter.
In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, let me try to briefly recap this mess. Bella Thorne—a 22-year-old actress who got big co-starring with Zendaya on Disney Channel’s Shake It Up about 10 years ago and has since tried very hard to rebrand as a kooky, edgy bad girl about town—joined OnlyFans, the content subscription service that many sex workers use to sell adult content. Within a day of making an account, she claimed she’d made $1 million, and then said she’d doubled that by week’s end.
Wait, but why was she on OnlyFans at all? Isn’t she a rich celebrity who has no material incentive to spend her quarantine slumming it in a labor community she has no legible ties to beyond just, like, trying to gain clout in a really gross way? Yes. But according to Bella, she was doing some research for an as yet untitled feature film about OnlyFans and sex work that she said she was working on with Tangerine and The Florida Project director Sean Baker.
OK, so now that we’re all caught up, here’s where Thorne’s moves over the past week crossed the line from annoying clout-grab to producing actual, material harm. The actress made so much money so quickly in part by charging $200 for pay-per-view messages that would purportedly feature nude images. The images that Thorne actually sent fans were totally not-nude lingerie pics—or as the French say, le SCAM—and so a bunch of those people who purchased them understandably asked for a refund.
That many refunds at once caused OnlyFans to lose a bunch of money, as it had to cover all the processing costs, so the platform has now imposed a number of limits on what OnlyFans creators can charge for their content, Insider reports. Creators can now only charge $50 for exclusive content, whereas previously there had been no max amount, and tips are now capped at $100. The platform has also changed its payment policy so that creators get paid 30 days after transactions, rather than weekly as they have been up until now.
“Imagine suddenly going from a weekly paycheck to a monthly paycheck,” tweeted actress, musician, and OnlyFans creator Erika Heidewald on Friday. “People have bills to pay. Kids to feed. Many people, including content creators and sex workers, live paycheck to paycheck. How are they going to pay their bills this month? How are they going to feed themselves and their families? This is real harm.”
Tipping this story into Twilight Zone territory, Sean Baker, the director Thorne said she was doing research with, has since come forward to clarify that he is not working on a movie with her, as the actress claimed.
“I would like to make it clear that the news of me making a film,” said Baker in a statement released on Friday. “Earlier this month, I had a conversation with Ms. Thorne and discussed a possible collaboration in the far future that would focus on her life and the circumstances leading to her joining OnlyFans. On that call, I advised her team to consult with sex workers and address the way she went about this as to not hurt the sex work industry. This has been the extent of my involvement.”
“I’m not attached to this project,” he added.
On Saturday, Thorne addressed the situation and apologized to OnlyFans creators slash sex workers more broadly……sort of? Mostly she just revealed that she’s got a gigantic savior complex and, unfortunately for all the thousands of people she just spent the last week majorly fucking over, she’s not afraid to use it.
“[I joined OnlyFans to] remove the stigma behind sex, sex work, and the negativity that surrounds the word ‘sex’ itself by bringing a mainstream face to it,” she tweeted. “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,” she continued. “I am a mainstream face, and when you have a voice, a platform, you try to use [it] in helping others and advocate for something bigger than yourself. Again, in this process, I hurt you, and for that, I’m truly sorry.”
OK, but like……literally who asked?? Stay home!! Simply enjoy being a rich celebrity or whatever in an ever-worsening economic depression!!!!
During her virtual concert on Saturday, Megan Thee Stallion called attention to police brutality and white supremacist violence against Black people in the United States, Pitchfork reports.
Midway through her set, the lights cut out, and the words “THIS SHIT IS EXHAUSTING” beamed out from the screen behind her. The screen then flashed through the names of a number of Black people who’ve died at the hands of police and white vigilantes—including Tamir Rice, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and Jacob Blake—in near silence for minutes, concluding with another all-caps message: “WHY IS IT SO HARD BEING BLACK IN AMERICA?”
Lohanthony insists that he wasn’t trying to promote conversion therapy in that extremely conversion therapy-esque (or at least conversion therapy-adjacent) video he released last week. Despite all his rhetoric about Christ’s love saving him from substance abuse and “same-sex attraction,” the YouTuber also denies having gone through conversion therapy himself.
“[The] gay community [has] come to the conclusion that I hate myself and love conversion therapy,” Lohanthony, a.k.a., 21-year-old Anthony Quintal, says in a new video titled “Conversion Therapy and God’s Truth,” per PinkNews.
“I have been changed, but I do not support conversion camp or conversion therapy,” he continues. “I support abandoning consuming lusts, both homosexual and heterosexual alike… No person is safe from lusting over whoever we’re attracted to, both single or in marriage.”
While this clarification might seem fine on its face, it still echoes conservative Christian rhetoric around “homosexuality being a sin” and all that. As Matthew Vines, the director of LGBTQ Christian group The Reformation Project recently told Insider: “Many conservative Christians view all same-sex relationships as ‘consuming lusts… As a result, they believe that avoiding lust for straight people means getting married, but for gay people, it means lifelong singleness and celibacy.”
- Netflix has postponed Monday’s virtual preview of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom in light of star Chadwick Boseman’s death. A new date has not been set. [New York Post]
- Brad Pitt took his new girlfriend, Nicole Poturalski, who my friend Lola recently said “looks like the TV version of Angelina Jolie,” to the French château where he and Angie got married. [Us Weekly]
- In a new teaser for the Real Housewives of New York season 12 reunion, Dorinda Medley calls Ramona Singer “a PSA statement for a bad facelift.” As a woman of brow lift experience, I have no choice but to stand in solidarity with Ramona I guess!! [Us Weekly]
- I think we can all agree that Megan