Former Disney Channel star Bella Thorne wept Tuesday in a video responding to critics who faulted her for the release of her nude photos.
Thorne, 21, posted numerous topless photos of herself to social media on Saturday, saying that a male hacker had tried to blackmail and “threaten” her with them. The predicament of the “Dirty Sexy Money” actress became a topic of discussion during a Tuesday episode of ABC’s “The View.”
Cohost Whoopi Goldberg suggested Thorne was partially to blame for the pictures going public.
“Once you take that picture it goes into the cloud and it’s available to any hacker who wants them,” Goldberg said on the show. “And if you don’t know that in 2019 that this is an issue, I’m sorry, your age does not – you don’t get to do that.”
In a series of videos posted to Instagram later in the day, Thorne sobbed as she responded to the criticism.
“I feel pretty disgusting,” she said through tears. “I can only imagine all the kids who have their shit released and then they commit suicide.”
Thorne blasted the hosts of “The View,” calling them a “bunch of older women” and threatened to cancel an upcoming appearance on the program.
“I don’t really want to go on ‘The View’ anymore because I don’t really want to be beaten down by a bunch of older women for my body and my sexuality,” Thorne said. “I am going to cancel my interview because I don’t really want you guys talking about your views to young girls because I would not want my daughter to learn that and I would never say that to her.”
“OK, I’m done,” Thorne concluded, wiping tears from her face.
In a followup video, Thorne singled out Goldberg’s comments.
“Shame on you Whoopi,” Thorne said through tears. “Shame on you for putting that public opinion just out there like that for every young girl to think that their disgusting for even taking a photo like that.”
“Saying if you take a sexy photo, then it basically deserves to get leaked,” Thorne added. “So if I go out to a party drinking, and I want to dance on the dance floor, do I deserve to be raped too?”
“Because to me I see those two things as really fucking similar,” she said.
How the Bella Thorne nude photos controversy came to be about empowerment
In comments on social media and to the press last weekend, the actress explained her decision to post the revealing photos in feminist terms.
“For the last 24 hours I have been threatened with my own nudes. I feel gross. I feel watched, I feel someone has taken something from me that I only wanted one special person to see,” she said. “For too long I let a man take advantage of me over and over and I’m fucking sick of it. I’m putting this out because it’s my decision. Now you don’t get to take yet another thing from me. I can sleep better knowing I took my power back. U can’t control my life u never will.”
She also said she was releasing the photos because “it’s MY DECISION” and “NOW U DON’T GET TO TAKE YET ANOTHER THING FROM ME.”
Thorne, who last year revealed she was sexually abused as a child, has posted provocative photos online before in the name of female empowerment.
Her activism is common to sex-positive feminists, who celebrate their raunchiness as a form of liberation. However, conservative critics – along with some feminists – have argued that real strength involves self-respect and personal responsibility.
Thorne is not the first celebrity to take a feminist stand over leaked selfies. Rapper Iggy Azalea last month decried the “vile” fantasies male commenters shared about her body after topless photos of her came out. Jennifer Lawrence, Rihanna, Kate Upton and others spoke out after their nude photos were hacked in 2014.