Tim Stokely, founder of porn-friendly social media subscription site OnlyFans, has resigned as CEO after five years “to pursue new endeavors,” the company announced Tuesday.
Amrapali “Ami” Gan (pictured above), who previously was chief marketing and communications officer, is taking over as CEO. She will assume the day-to-day leadership of the London-based company. Stokely plans to remain an adviser to OnlyFans during a transition period.
OnlyFans has become a haven for creators selling subscriptions to X-rated content. In August, it prompted an outcry from many of its creators after announcing plans to ban pornography, citing the need to comply with policies of bank partners. Then a week later, the site reversed itself, dropping the plans to ban sexually explicit material after saying it “secured assurances necessary to support our diverse creator community.”
Gan, 36, joined OnlyFans in September last year. Prior to joining OnlyFans, she served as VP of marketing for West Hollywood’s Cannabis Cafe, helping launch and rebrand what was billed as the first cannabis restaurant in the U.S. Gan also has worked at Quest Nutrition, a maker of protein bars, as head of brand communications and for Red Bull Media House focusing on activation and communications. Gan holds a bachelor’s degree from Cal State L.A. in PR and organizational communication, according to her LinkedIn profile.
“Ami has a deep passion for OnlyFans’ business and I’m passing the baton to a friend and colleague who has the vision and drive to help the organisation reach its tremendous potential,” Stokely said in a statement. “OnlyFans is still a new company and Ami brings a fresh energy and reflects who we are as a business.”
Gan said in a statement, “I am proud to assume this role. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our creator community to help them maximize control over, and monetize, their content. I will be leading an exceptionally talented team at OnlyFans that is delivering a unique experience for our creators and fans. By blending state of the art technology with creative capital, we are committed to being the safest social media platform in the world.”
Founded in 2016, OnlyFans claims that it has paid out more than $5 billion to creators to date. The company says it has 180 million registered users and more than 2 million creators worldwide.
Ian Alexander Jr., Musician and Son of Regina King, Dies by Suicide at 26
Ian Alexander Jr., a musician, DJ and son of actress and director Regina King, has died by suicide. He was 26 years old.
Alexander’s death was confirmed to Variety by a public relations representative for King. No further details are available at this time.
“Our family is devastated at the deepest level by the loss of Ian,” King said in a statement. “He is such a bright light who cared so deeply about the happiness of others. Our family asks for respectful consideration during this private time. Thank you.”
Alexander was born on Jan. 19, 1996. He was King’s only child. She shared him with her ex-husband, record producer Ian Alexander Sr. The pair divorced in 2007 after ten years of marriage.
Alexander was a practicing musician and DJ. Performing under the name Desduné, Alexander had been preparing to perform several shows in Los Angeles later this month. His most recent single, “Green Eyes,” was released on Jan. 7. King shared the track on her Instagram last week, showing support for her son.
Alexander was often seen accompanying his mother at red carpet events, including the LACMA Art+ Film Gala and various awards shows. Most recently, he had appeared alongside King to help commemorate his mother’s achievements in entertainment at her Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony in October 2021.
“She’s just a super mom,” Alexander told E! News in a red carpet interview alongside King at the Golden Globe Awards in 2019. “She doesn’t really let bad work days or anything come back and ruin the time that we have. It’s really awesome to have a mother who I can enjoy spending time with.”
‘Plaza Catedral,’ ‘Prayers for the Stolen’ Deal With Violence Inflicted Upon Youth in Latin America
Mexico’s Tatiana Huezo and Abner Benaim of Panama, whose respective dramas, “Prayers for the Stolen” and “Plaza Catedral,” made the coveted shortlist in the Oscars’ international feature category, have quite a few things in common. Both have mainly worked in documentary filmmaking, although in the case of Benaim, he made a hit comedy in 2009, “Chance,” before focusing on nonfiction films.
Neither are strangers to the Oscar experience. Benaim has represented Panama twice. With its first submission to the Oscars in 2014, an account of the 1989 U.S. invasion of Panama, “Invasion,” and in 2018 with “Ruben Blades Is Not My Name,” which gets up close and personal with the actor, multi-Grammy winner and activist who also served as minister of tourism and ran for president of Panama.
“Prayers for the Stolen” is Huezo’s first narrative feature and her second turn at representing Mexico, the first time was with her documentary “Tempestad” in 2017.
Both “Prayers” and “Plaza Catedral” deal with the violence inflicted on the young, which for Benaim hit closer to home when his non-pro teenage lead, Fernando Xavier de Casta, was gunned down a few months before the pic’s release. He dedicates “Plaza Catedral” to him and to the many “children and teenagers who die every day in Latin America, victims of senseless violence.”
A coming-of-age fable, “Prayers for the Stolen” follows three young girls, also played by non-pros, in a remote village where the danger of being abducted by drug cartels is ever-present.
Asked why she thinks her film has resonated with viewers, Huezo muses: “I’d like to believe that it’s because the film draws you into the girls’ tiny universes and also brings home the impact of violence on families’ lives, almost like a punch to the gut. But it also connects through the beauty, tenderness and purity of their innocent lives.”
“Plaza Catedral” revolves around Alicia (played by Ilse Salas) who, having lost her 6-year-old son in a freak accident, remains grief-stricken and withdrawn. She ignores the scrappy street kid played by Xavier de Casta, who demands to be paid for watching her car in the titular Plaza Catedral. One day, she is shocked out of her self-imposed isolation when he shows up at her doorstep, bleeding from a gunshot wound. Samuel Goldywn Films has picked up U.S. rights.
“It’s always a mystery when a film resonates with people,” Benaim says. “But I think ‘Plaza Catedral’ affects people in two waves — first they are moved by the story and the performances and then a second wave of emotion comes over them when they realize that reality has caught up with the story.
“The reality of what happened to Fernando does not allow us the luxury to think that it was just a film.”
Both dramas reflect their documentary filmmaking roots. As Variety critic Jessica Kiang observed: “Benaim brings some of his documentarian sensibility to bear on a story that might otherwise feel a little schematic.”
“I think that having worked so much on documentaries makes me less afraid of the uncertainty and lack of control that is sometimes associated with non-actors — I actually see it the other way around … I enjoy the freshness and unpredictable as welcome surprises,” he says. “One can detect when things feel real and when they don’t — and that alertness for what feels fake is something I keep turned on while making a documentary or fiction film.”
Huezo concurs: “As a documentary filmmaker, you become very astute and empathetic; you develop an instinct for recognizing the real moments of truth, the true emotions in facial expressions, in the glances exchanged and in the movements of the actors.”