On Wednesday (3 November), Channel 4 confirmed that they had failed to reach a “resolution” with Dunn after she opened an OnlyFans account, stating that she would be leaving the series. Dunn had played Mandy Richardson on the show on and off since 1995.
OnlyFans allows fans to buy access to content from influencers and celebrities, and is best known for the selling of adult or pornographic imagery. Dunn said she chose to join the site as she wished to “take back control” of her own image having posed for “lads’ mags” earlier in her career.
“This is a decision I’ve thought long and hard about, not one I’ve taken lightly or on a whim, it’s about taking back control, about empowerment and confidence and having full power over my choices,” she told fans.
Channel 4, however, claimed that Dunn’s OnlyFans account posed a problem as Hollyoaks is a “youth-facing drama with many young viewers”.
“We take our responsibility to our young audience very seriously and therefore the show does not allow any Hollyoaks cast members to be active on certain 18+ websites,” Channel 4 said in a statement. “We had hoped we could reach a resolution with Sarah that would allow her to remain in her role as Mandy, but we respect her choice to continue to produce content on OnlyFans.”
In a new interview with The Sun, Dunn has defended the photographs she published to the site, arguing that they are “no more explicit” than images published in annual Hollyoaks calendars. The calendars – which have not been officially published since 2012 – depicted many of the show’s cast members topless or in their underwear.
“The pictures I’ve put on OnlyFans are no more explicit than the sort of things I’ve done in the past for magazines and even for Hollyoaks’ own official calendar,” Dunn said. “For me this is about having the right as a woman of 40 years old to decide what is right for me.”
She continued: “I love photoshoots and I’ve worked hard for my figure. I don’t make a secret of the fact that I get a big boost out of it, and I’m not apologetic for that.”
Hollyoaks has been broadcast on Channel 4 since 1995, with new episodes showing on weeknights at 6.30pm.
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