- Over the weekend, actress Bella Thorne claimed in a post to her Instagram story that she was the “first” to create an OnlyFans, noting that she had received “heat” for doing so.
- As social media users pointed out Monday evening, her depiction of the criticism against her is out of context. Those online also noted that Thorne is not the first celebrity to join the platform, which they argue gained popularity through the efforts of sex workers.
- When Thorne joined the platform in August, many were worried that she would stifle content from smaller creators who were already using the website.
- At the time, Thorne was also criticized for allegedly “scamming” her followers into paying $200 for a non-nude photo that she had claimed was a nude. That account was denied by Thorne and has not been confirmed.
Thorne Criticized for OnlyFans Comment
Former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne trended on Twitter Monday evening as social media users criticized her for calling herself the “first” to use OnlyFans.
“Everyone jumping on OnlyFans but I took the hit for doing it firsttttt coooool,” Thorne said in a story posted to her Instagram account over the weekend.
“Legit everyone in my news feed following in my footsteps,” she said in a follow-up post on her story. “But when I was getting heat y’all were scared.”
Many on social media were quick to condemn Thorne yet again for insinuating that she had led to the site’s popularity. A number of people also noted that other celebrities such as Cardi B, Blac Chyna, and Tana Mongeau all created Onlyfans before her.
“Plenty [of] celebrities started an OF before Thorne and got no heat because they didn’t step on the very people that built up her platform,” one user said.
“If #BellaThorne said she was the first to join and scam, then cause the platform to install new rules and regulations that affected workers on there, then I’d totally agree with her,” another said.
Others attributed OnlyFans’ success to the sex workers on the platform, not celebrities.
“Hey @bellathorne,” one person tweeted. “I’ve been making my living on onlyfans for like a year and a half now after seeing the success other sex workers had been having for quite some time on there. Tell me again how you did it first? Unclear on the timeline.”
Thorne has yet to publicly respond to the criticism.
How Did Bella Thorne’s OnlyFans Controversy Begin?
Thorne created her OnlyFans account in August, and within 24 hours, she became the first creator on the platform to earn $1 million within 24 hours. By the end of that week, she nabbed another million in earnings.
While the move proved to be an instant success for Thorne, it was also not without criticism. At the time, many sex workers who had cultivated a following on the platform and used it as their main source of income worried that Thorne’s high profile entrance would push out smaller creators who post more explicit content.
Connected to that, Thorne originally said that her profile would not include nude images or videos of her; however, soon after creating her account, a screenshot that alleged to show Thorne charging $200 for pay-per-view content of herself naked circulated online.
People who reportedly bought the content then claimed the photo was not, in fact, a nude; rather, they said it only implied nudity and that nothing graphic could be seen. While Thorne denied that she had scammed her subscribers, rumors then swirled that angered customers began asking OnlyFans to refund their purchase.
Around the same time, OnlyFans instituted price caps by limiting how much creators could charge for pay-per-view images and videos, as well as how much they could be paid in tips. The company later denied that move was made specifically in response to Thorne, but nonetheless, that association persisted.
Thorne later apologized for “hurt[ing]” creators on the site, noting that she has tried to remove the stigma from sex work with her career.
See what others are saying: (PageSix) (Indy 100) (Out Magazine)
“Don’t Worry Darling” Tops the Box Office Amid Bad Press
Audiences are already giving the film higher praise than critics did.
Young Women Flock to “Don’t Worry Darling”
Weeks of controversies and rumors did not prevent “Don’t Worry Darling” from finding victory at the box office, with the Olivia Wilde-directed thriller debuting at number one over the weekend and raking in $19.2 million.
Wilde also acted in the mid-century mystery, which starrs Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan.
Women led ticket sales for the picture, comprising 66% of the audience, according to several reports. At least partially due to the appeal of Styles, crowds also skewed young, with over half under the age of 25.
Overseas, the film made over $10 million, bringing its total for the weekend to $30 million. That number is especially impressive since the R-rated drama had a budget of $35 million.
“Don’t Worry Darling” had been plagued with weeks of rumors about behind-the-scenes drama leading up to its release. Among other bouts of gossip, many online speculated that Pugh and Wilde had riffs on set, leading to Pugh’s refusal to promote the project. One report alleged the two got into a screaming match, but sources on set denied it.
Wilde and Shia LeBeouf, who was originally cast in the picture, also got into a public he-said-she-said about whether he quit the film or was fired.
The drama hit a boiling point during its premiere at the Venice Film Festival when Twitter users circulated a video they claimed showed Styles spiting on Pine, though both parties have denied that allegation.
A Film Riddled With Rumors
Furthering the bad press were the bad reviews. Critics largely panned the film, sticking it with a 38% on Rotten Tomatoes. After this first weekend, moviegoers seem to have a more favorable outlook, as it has a 79% audience score as of Monday.
Jeff Goldstein, the distribution chief for Warner Bros., told the Associated Press that “the background noise” caused by these controversies “had a neutral impact” on its box office haul. The studio released a statement saying it was pleased with the movie’s earnings.
Some analysts believe that, if anything, the online gossip and fodder may have aided the film’s box office performance.
In a tweet recapping the weekend’s box office, Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst at Comscore, said the “drama sparked a huge wave of interest.”
See what others are saying: (Associated Press) (Box Office Mojo) (New York Times)
Senators Introduce Legislation Requiring Radios to Pay Royalties to Artists
Sen. Padilla argued the bill is necessary to give artists the “dignity and respect they deserve.”
The American Music Fairness Act
Sens. Alex Padilla (D-CA) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced the American Music Fairness Act to the Senate on Thursday, a bill that would require radio stations to pay royalties to performers and rights holders.
The bill was previously introduced to the House last year. According to a release, the United States is the only democratic country where artists are not compensated for their music’s use on AM or FM radio. While songwriters and publishers receive payment, these stations have never been required to give a slice of the pie to performers and copyright holders.
On streaming and satellite radio, however, both groups receive royalty payments.
In a statement, Padilla said it is time the country starts treating “our musical artists with the dignity and respect they deserve for the music they produce and we enjoy every day.”
“California’s artists have played a pivotal role in enriching and diversifying our country’s music scene,” he added. “That is why passing the American Music Fairness Act is so important.”
“From Beale Street to Music Row to the hills of East Tennessee, the Volunteer State’s songwriters have undeniably made their mark,” Blackburn echoed. “Tennessee’s creators deserve to be compensated for their work. This legislation will ensure that they receive fair payment and can keep the great hits coming.”
The American Music Fairness Act would require terrestrial radio broadcasters to pay royalties to music creators when their songs are played. It would also protect smaller stations that either make less than $1.5 million in annual revenue or who have a parent company that makes less than $10 million in annual revenue by letting them play unlimited music for under $500 a year.
The bill would also require other countries to pay American artists for the use of their work.
Support From Major Music Groups
The legislation is endorsed by a number of groups, including the Recording Academy, SAG-AFTRA, and the American Federation of Musicians.
If passed, the bill could move a lot of money into the pockets of performers. According to the Recording Academy, when American music gets international airplay, other countries collect royalties for American artists, amounting to around $200 million every year. However, they “never pay those royalties because the U.S. does not reciprocate with our own performance right.”
Fran Drescher, President of SAG-AFTRA, argues that the money belongs to the artists.
“Broadcast companies profit from advertising sales because of the creative content musicians and singers record. It stands to reason that the performers who create the content deserve to be compensated just as songwriters are now,” Drescher said in a statement. “The reason it’s called the American Music Fairness Act is because the current situation is wholly unfair and it’s up to Congress to make it fair NOW!”
Last year, Representatives Steve Womack (R-AR) and Kathy Castor (D-FL) introduced the Local Radio Freedom Act, a bill with essentially the opposite agenda. It aims to reserve radio’s royalty-free status. The American Music Fairness Act is being viewed as a counter-response to this bill.
Kanye West Says Catalog Is Potentially Being Sold Without His Permission: “Just Like Taylor Swift”
After Swift lost the rights to her life’s work, she took on the endeavor of re-recording her first six albums.
Kanye’s Catalog Potentially Up For Grabs
Following reports that Kanye West was considering selling his catalog, the artist took to Instagram on Tuesday to claim his work is potentially being sold without his approval.
On Monday, Billboard reported that West had been “quietly and intermittently shopping his publishing catalog.”
While the outlet’s sources did not reveal what price West was aiming for, Billboard estimated that West might be looking at a $175 million valuation for his discography. Some of Billboard’s sources seemingly suggested that West and his team were specifically behind the effort to sell his work, but others claimed the “catalog was never actively shopped” and instead, West had been receiving offers from potential buyers.
Not long after, several news outlets picked the story up and reported that West was gearing up to sell his catalog. West responded by writing on his Instagram story that this was not the case.
“Not For Sale”
“Just like Taylor Swift,” he said, referencing music mogul Scooter Braun purchasing Swift’s masters with Big Machine Records without her approval. “My publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale.”
Swift referred to the sale of her masters to Braun as her “worst case scenario.” In order to regain ownership of her work, she is in the process of re-recording her first six albums, all of which she originally made under Big Machine. Two have already been released and proved to be wildly commercially successful.
According to Forbes, it is unclear which of his albums West owns the masters to, if he owns any at all. Because of this, it is unknown what kind of position he would be put in if his catalog, which is currently managed by Sony, was sold.
The status of any potential for his work to be sold became foggier later on Tuesday when West shared screenshots of a text exchange he had. He asked an unidentified person what was happening with the catalog sale, and that person responded by calling it “fake news.”
“Of course every publisher wants to pitch [their] hardest buy, smh,” the text continued.
West did not further indicate if those texts were meant to clarify that his catalog was, in fact, not up for sale, or just further distance himself from any potential acquisition.