The writer Gloria Steinem, who went undercover as a scantily-clad Bunny in order to report on conditions at Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Clubs, is encouraging viewers to avoid NBC’s new series The Playboy Club. The show, which seems to crib from Mad Men‘s retro-cool style while depicting the trials and tribulations undergone by a set of Bunnies, is all shadowy shots and whiskey highballs: the male lead, one of the club’s regulars, looks like this. The real Playboy Club, per Ms. Steinem, “was the tackiest place on earth. It was not glamorous at all.
“It normalizes a passive dominant idea of gender. So it normalizes prostitution and male dominance,” said Ms. Steinem. Per NBC’s synopsis of the series, “innocent new Bunny Maureen” kills a man in the club and must fall upon the mercy of the dashing club regular, an attorney-at-law. “Thank goodness Hef’s Playboy Mansion is open after hours for a little R&R… and burying your past,” says NBC.
Unlike this series, Ms. Steinem told a reporter that Mad Men had “some realism.”
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