The new NBC television series “The Playboy Club” demeans women and should never be broadcast, a San Francisco city commission advocating women’s rights is saying.
The new television series, scheduled to air Sept. 19, is about the scantily clad “bunnies” who worked in the first men’s club Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner launched in Chicago in 1960.
The show has come under fire from San Francisco Commission on the Status of Women, which passed a resolution last week condemning it and calling on NBC “to replace the program with a series that, instead, depicts women’s substantive achievements.”
“The show represents a major step backward for women who have struggled to earn an equal place in the workplace, in the community, and at home,” the resolution says.
Julie Soo, one of seven women appointed by the mayor to serve on the commission, said the series glamorizes the Playboy world “and I don’t think it’s so glamorous in the Playboy Mansion.
“It’s a portrayal of women that’s very demeaning,” Soo said.
The commission also plans to ask the Board of Supervisors to adopt a similar resolution when it returns from legislative recess next month. While the board’s resolutions are nonbinding, they can send a strong message and apply political pressure.
San Francisco’s Commission on the Status of Women is not alone in attacking the show and calling for its cancellation.
Well-known feminist Gloria Steinem, who had posed as a bunny in one of the clubs to expose how the women were treated, called this month for a boycott of the show.
Morality in Media, an interfaith organization established in 1962 to combat obscenity and uphold decency standards in the media, is applying pressure to NBC’s advertisers to prevent the showing from airing.
“Playboy is poised to cause even more harm, this time bringing its pornographic worldview directly into America’s living rooms,” Patrick A. Trueman, president of Morality in Media, said in an Aug. 10 statement. “We don’t need NBC to pour more fuel to that fire.”
Those involved in the show’s production have defended the television series in numerous media outlets as the criticism has intensified.
“This show is all about empowering these women to be whatever they want to be,” executive producer Chad Hodge was quoted as saying earlier this month.
NBC did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The Playboy Club premieres on NBC Sept. 19 at 10 p.m.
What the series is about
Centered around the Hugh Hefner Playboy Club in Chicago in the 1960s
Eddie Cibrian, who played Jesse Cardoza in “CSI: Miami” and Amber Heard, who had roles in the films “Zombieland” and “Pineapple Express”
“In Chicago in the early 1960s, a young woman seeking adventure as a Bunny in the glamorous world of the Playboy Club quickly finds herself in over her head.”