HOLLYOAKS bosses have laid bare their hypocrisy in sacking Sarah Jayne Dunn over her OnlyFans account.
The soap known for cashing in on its young, attractive cast is suddenly shocked by the idea that the cast may want to cash in on their own bodies.
And why wouldn’t they – Sarah is making thousands a week with a few posts on her PG account on the 18+ service.
Let’s be clear about this – Sarah isn’t suddenly producing hardcore adult content from her trailer between scenes from the soap.
In fact she’s not doing anything different to her existing Instagram account except charging for access for her content – as is her right.
And nobody is suggesting that Hollyoaks doesn’t have the right to decide to set standard for its employees to follow if they want to keep their lucrative jobs.
But let’s be very clear here – Hollyoaks has told its actors that their bodies are not their own.
Her photoshoots aren’t any more racy than the Hollyoaks calendars that adorned teenagers’ walls for years.
Or the photoshoots its stars have been encouraged to do to drum up publicity for the soap.
Or its own late night spinoffs done to show even more sexualised content – just after the watershed.
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And aside from all of that – Hollyoaks is known for its scenes of nudity – despite airing well before the watershed at 6.30pm.
Despite producing some of the most critically acclaimed soap storylines over the years, it has never been able to shake the idea that its stars are booked for their bodies not their acting abilities.
If Sarah was a star of one of the big three – Coronation Street, Emmerdale or EastEnders – then I could perhaps understand this decision.
But for a soap that has made its name for employing beautiful people and having them strip down whenever possible – this is nothing more than hypocrisy.
And let’s not forget that Hollyoaks failed to sack its cast member who shunned lockdown rules and attended illegal raves at the height of the pandemic last year while the rest of us were suffering.
Nor that it took Rachel Adedeji bravely speaking out about the racism she suffered behind the scenes of the show as a black woman for bosses to be forced into doing something about it.
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Where was the care for the impact on youth audiences then?
Hollyoaks stars over the years have spoken out about their discomfort in the nudity required of them.
Some have even refused to film scenes as laid out by bosses.
Young actors have been shown completely naked – their modesty hidden by props – on a show going out at 6.30pm.
Actress required to film in their bikinis for no discernible reason other than tittilition.
By sacking Sarah Jayne Dunn, Hollyoaks has issued a chilling warning to its cast – and to its viewers – saying you don’t own your body, we do.
And that is outrageous.
If Hollyoaks bosses truly care about the impact on their youth audiences – then they should start by apologising for their own actions over the last 25 years.
And not make Sarah Jayne Dunn pay the price for them.
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