After accepting a $2 million payday from the users of subscription-based social media platform OnlyFans, in exchange for scantily clad photos and videos of herself, actress Bella Thorne has revealed that she’s working on a film about the experience with director Sean Baker. Yeah, that Sean Baker, the director of Tangerine and The Florida Project, the latter of which earned an Oscar nomination for Willem Dafoe.
OnlyFans, despite having existed since 2016, exploded into the cultural consciousness during the current pandemic as it was adopted by higher-profile celebrities as a way to rather shamelessly make a buck online. For most of its existence, OnlyFans has been a subscription social media service that has largely catered to models, fitness instructors and outright pornographic performers, who use it more or less like a hardcore version of Patreon—users subscribe to their content for a monthly dollar value, and gain access to whatever photos and videos the performer provides. It’s been a valuable resource for the nation’s sex workers, who worry about how the sudden influx of Hollywood celebrities might upset the balance of the platform.
Nevertheless, OnlyFans has suddenly taken the limelight, following its adoption by the likes of Cardi B and Thorne. The latter immediately became the biggest success story in the site’s history, making $1 million in less than 24 hours, and $2 million in less than a week. All that, for some suggestive photos and videos.
Of course, we likely should have expected from the beginning that such success would be parlayed into further attention, as is the Hollywood way. Thorne has stated that the earnings will be put toward “her production company, and toward charity,” and explained to the Los Angeles Times that she would be working with Sean Baker on a film that would encapsulate the experience.
“It’s a feature we are researching as I’m living it currently,” Thorne said to the newspaper. “What are the ins and outs? What does a platform like this do to its users? What’s the connective material between your life and your life inside the world of OnlyFans? ... How can it change your life for the worse and the better? How far are you willing to go, and how far do you WANT to go? You can be me, or this talented girl from Montana, and OnlyFans could change your life — if you want it to, of course.”
Baker, meanwhile, declined to comment about the project to the L.A. Times, making one wonder if perhaps Thorne is saying a bit more than she’s supposed to. One also has to question whether it’s really possible to develop much of a sympathetic outlook for the people paying $20 a month to look at your bikini photos, when you’re also happily accepting their millions to fund your production company.
Regardless, it will be interesting to see what this project could turn into down the line for Thorne, a former Disney Channel Shake it Up starlet turned Hollywood It Girl—and how many millions she’ll rake in while doing adequate “research.”