Former Playboy Bunny: ‘Playboy Club’ show inaccurate, ‘degrading, demoralizing’

Laura Donovan Contributor
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NBC’s new program “Playboy Club” hasn’t gotten off to a good start. The new drama, which ranked third place during its time slot Monday evening, has not only enraged The Parents Television Council (PTC), but former Playboy Bunnies.

The show, which follows the Bunnies and patrons of Chicago’s Playboy Club in the 1960s, features scantily-clad servers dancing with customers and clients. Former Bunny Marilyn Miller wrote in a note to Vanity Fair that fellow Bunnies were forbidden from participating in such activity.

“None of those things happened,” Miller wrote. “The first thing that was incorrect was the dancing together — we never danced! The Bunnies danced together, but never with a customer. It was a rule. You couldn’t dance with the keyholders. They couldn’t touch you. You couldn’t date them, or you’d get fired. The Bunnies enforced the rule themselves — they didn’t want to get hit on all the time.”

Miller, who worked in the Chicago, New York and L.A. Playboy clubs throughout the 60s, added that “Playboy Club” could potentially give her child the wrong idea about what his mother did for a living.

“They did a wonderful job re-creating the club physically, but everything else … And now my son thinks some of these things happened!” Miller wrote.

According to Miller, the series incorrectly leads viewers to believe that mobsters and politicians frequented the club. The former Playboy girl attests that such folks didn’t go to the club.

“I didn’t like the whole show,” Miller continued. “I thought it was cheap, it was degrading, it was demoralizing. It makes the Bunnies seem silly… Not one Bunny I know liked the show. Everyone is hoping it gets canceled.”

An outspoken critic of “Playboy Club,” PTC called on citizens this week to hold Unilever and Chrysler/Dodge publicly accountable for supporting the show. PTC attests that Unilever brands such as Hellmann’s Mayonnaise and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu were advertised during “Playboy Club.” Even before the premiere of the show, PTC urged potential advertisers not to “support the glorification of the Playboy brand and the objectification of women.” (RELATED: Utah NBC affiliate won’t air ‘The Playboy Club’)

“The ratings for ‘The Playboy Club’ speak for themselves,” PTC president Tim Winter said in a statement. “Clearly, Americans aren’t interested in tuning in to a show that amounts to little more than a chauvinistic advertisement for the Playboy brand. Advertisers should take a cue from viewers and find something else to support.”

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Watch: Welcome to the “Playboy Club”

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Laura Donovan