Bella Thorne Apologized To Sex Workers After Her OnlyFans Success Sparked Controversy

Actress Bella Thorne issued an apology with a Twitter thread on Saturday after her OnlyFans success sparked controversy, subscriber backlash and some changes to the website’s policies that many in the sex industry have criticized as harmful to sex workers.

The move to join the site earlier this month was the latest instance of a celebrity joining the site used by sex workers to monetize their photos and videos. In Thorne’s case, she claimed joining was in part research for a project with Sean Barker.

As controversy grew over her wild success on the site — generating more than $1 million in 24 hours — Barker disavowed the project altogether, saying they had little more than a meeting around the concept before Thorne joined the site to much fanfare. As many prominent voices in the sex worker community laid out their issues with Thorne joining the platform and making such a big splash — to the tune of allegations of asking $200 for a photo — Thorne pointed out on Twitter that she wouldn’t appear nude on the site.

Though the severity of those price points hasn’t been verified, the payday has: Thorne has reportedly pulled in more than $2 million on OnlyFans and further sparked outrage as the days go by. On Saturday night, Thorne issued a series of tweets explaining why she joined OnlyFans, directly speaking to sex workers and admitting that “I hurt you.”

Thorne said she was “truly sorry” and acknowledged her attempt to normalize sex work online further marginalized those who rely on the site full-time.

The apology comes amid reports of changes limiting content creators as well as that OnlyFans saw a rise in requests for refunds from some in the huge number of people who subscribed to Thorne’s page not realizing she would not appear nude. According to EJ Dickson’s report for Rolling Stone, sex workers noticed the changes to the platform, which placed limits on the amount of money people can earn for certain activities.

According to multiple content creators who spoke to Rolling Stone, OnlyFans quietly issued a $50 cap on pay-per-view messages (essentially, exclusive content sent to paying subscribers), and a $100 cap on tips, without warning or announcing any policy changes. “There was no notification,” says Savannah Solo, a sex worker and content creator who was one of the many to tweet about their outrage over the change. “We are now just suddenly unable to [receive a] tip over $100 and price a PPV over $50.” OnlyFans also reportedly extended the timeline for payouts from seven days to 30 days, though it later clarified this change would only affect creators in specific countries.

OnlyFans admitted it is changing its policies but didn’t directly tie it to Thorne’s massive influx of subscribers and the backlash to her presence on the platform.

Thorne added on Saturday that she was in talks with OnlyFans about these changes and hopes to advocate for the concerns of those on the platform, offering to amplify their presence in the future rather than promote her own.

It doesn’t appear a movie will come of Thorne’s turn on OnlyFans, and the consequences of her huge splash may only really hamper those who use the platform full-time.