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Playboy’s Decision to Part Ways with Hugh Hefner and Rebrand within the Wake of the MeToo Movement

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Editor’s Note: The views expressed on this commentary are solely these of the writers. CNN is showcasing the work of The Conversation, a collaboration between journalists and lecturers to supply information evaluation and commentary. The content material is produced solely by The Conversation.

The Conversation — Hugh Hefner launched Playboy Magazine 70 years in the past this yr. The first situation included a nude {photograph} of Marilyn Monroe, which he had bought and revealed with out her information or consent. Hefner went on to construct the Playboy model off the backs of the numerous girls featured in its pages, whose magnificence and efficiency of heightened female sexuality have entertained its readers for generations.

Approaching its seventieth anniversary in December, Playboy has radically shifted. With the journal not in publication, the Playboy Mansion bought to a developer and London’s final remaining Playboy Club closing in 2021, what’s the future for Playboy? The model is altering to maintain up with the post-#MeToo world. Hefner handed away one month earlier than allegations towards movie producer Harvey Weinstein surfaced in 2017 giving momentum to the #MeToo motion (which noticed survivors of sexual assault and harassment converse out towards their abusers).

READ MORE: Sex, love and companionship … with AI? Why human-machine relationships may go mainstream

In latest years, many have re-evaluated Hefner’s legacy and relationships with girls. The 2022 docuseries “The Secrets of Playboy” (which aired on Channel 4 within the UK) detailed sexual misconduct accusations towards Hefner from a number of ex-girlfriends, together with mannequin Sondra Theodore and TV character Holly Madison. Hefner and Playboy’s relationship with girls has been sophisticated. Playboy was an early supporter of abortion rights, helped fund the primary rape package and was at instances an early proponent of inclusivity (for instance that includes transgender mannequin, Caroline “Tula” Cossey, in its June 1981 situation). But most ladies featured in Playboy have match inside a slim magnificence commonplace — skinny, white, able-bodied and blonde. Meanwhile Hefner’s private relationship together with his a lot youthful girlfriends reportedly adopted patterns of management and emotional abuse.

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