Whitney Cummings Joins OnlyFans
OnlyFans has made billions as a haven for sex workers and models to monetize content. Can the subscription site for creators also become a place for outré, NSFW comedy?
Comedian, actor and podcaster Whitney Cummings is joining OnlyFans and, under a pact with the company, she’s producing a new original show: the “Unfiltered Original Roast Series,” which will be exclusively available on OFTV, OnlyFan’s free streaming platform and app. Cummings herself will be the first roastee for the uncensored series.
Let’s get the first question out of the way: Cummings will not be posting nude photos of herself — or anyone else, for that matter — on her OnlyFans page. Rather, she plans to share uninhibited comedy bits about current events and whatever else is on her mind with her OnlyFans subscribers, material that might be warped out of context on other platforms. She said the subscription will cost about $10/month.
“I want to experiment with jokes,” Cummings told Variety. “I love the idea of writing and performing incendiary jokes… and talk about what is happening right now. On Twitter, people will want to take it out of context.”
While Cummings cracked that “MILF” is one of the most popular porn search terms — quipping, “I thought those days would be over for me, but who knows?” — she isn’t getting into the skin game. “I wouldn’t have the self-esteem to charge people to see my naked body,” Cummings riffed. “Instead of dirty photos, you’re gonna see dirty jokes.”
She continued, “I know people like to make fun of [OnlyFans] because there are naked ladies on there… I just decided, if the audience is going here, as a comedian there’s something worth checking out here.”
“If it’s good enough for Cardi B, it’s good enough for me. She has a very good business brand,” Cummings added, referring to the rap star who’s among OnlyFans’ most popular creators. Cummings said she has no judgment about sex workers. Moreover, she suggested, OnlyFans has been paying more to women overall than traditional Hollywood institutions. “We have this internal misogyny: ‘Oh, women are showing their boobs.’ … I think it’s cool. I see people exploiting themselves on other platforms and making no money.”
For OnlyFans, which raked in an eye-popping $4.8 billion in gross revenue for its 2021 fiscal year, the deal to fund Cummings’ “Unfiltered Original Roast Series” and bring her onto the platform is part of its efforts to broaden the community of creators. The U.K.-based company recently ordered a reality show from British reality TV stars Chloe, Demi and Frankie Sims after their exit from “The Only Way Is Essex” for OFTV, also slated for a 2023 premiere. OnlyFans’ OFTV also is developing a reality-competition series for comedians in the U.K. And Ireland to compete for the chance to win £100,000.
The company’s strategy with the safe-for-work content OnlyFans is commissioning for OFTV is to drive fans to creators’ pages. OnlyFans keeps a 20% cut of revenue and gives the other 80% to creators. About her prospective new source of income, Cummings said: “I’ll probably spend it all on animal rescues… or blow it all on Bitcoin.”
Cummings said comedians have faced a backlash in popular culture, and the standards for what’s acceptable have narrowed. OnlyFans, she argued, can provide a safe space for outrageous comedy. “Right now people are so mad at comedians. They think we’re assholes,” she said. “The past couple years, people are punching us in the face at awards shows… People are throwing beer cans at us.”
Comedy is thriving on platforms like Twitter and YouTube but much of the nuance is lost, Cummings said. “If you say ‘QAnon’ or ‘Pizzagate’ in a YouTube video — and they don’t know the context of what you’re talking about — they instantly demonetize your channel,” she said. “A mistake a lot of comedians are making is, they are giving free comedy away on platforms and the context is getting lost.”
Cummings’ “Unfiltered Original Roast Series,” currently set to run five episodes, is slated to premiere in early 2023 on OFTV. The first episode, “The Roast of Whitney Cummings,” will be hosted by Hannah Stocking with the roasters to include Bob the Drag Queen, Jim Norton, Donnell Rawlings, Annie Lederman, Dan Levy, Robin Tran, Luis J. Gomez and other “surprise guests.” The other confirmed roastee so far is comedian Bert “The Machine” Kreischer.
Cummings hopes the series will hearken back to the infamous Friars Club Roasts of yore. “It was consenting adults writing great jokes,” she said. “It’s like boxing — people sparring with each other.”
The “Unfiltered Original Roast Series” also will include a behind-the-scenes look at the show’s writers’ room, which Cummings said is designed to demystify the process that goes into crafting jokes for a roast format.
“I want to show these brilliant comics in a room, showing how sensitive we are about what is ostensibly something that seems very reckless,” she said. “It’s a tremendous amount of thought that goes into it. It’s going to be fascinating to see how the sausage is made. When comedy is done perfectly it’s one of the most healing, uniting thing on the planet.”
The writers’ room for “Unfiltered Original Roast Series” will have a roster of comedians including Madison Sinclair, Candice Thompson, Nicole Aimee Schrieber, Lara Beitz, Bridget Phetasy, Kim Congdon, Steph Tolev, Jessica Marie Singleton, Grace Weissend, Zach Noe Towers, Zahid Debji, Adam W, Nick Kurzon, Aac Amico, Alycia Cooper and Justin Martindale.
In addition to her live gigs and tours as a performer, Cummings has been featured in multiple stand-up comedy specials on Netflix, Comedy Central and HBO, and she hosts weekly podcast “Good for You.” She also starred in sitcom “Whitney,” which aired for two seasons on NBC from 2011-13, and she created “2 Broke Girls” with Michael Patrick King.
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