While politics makes strange bedfellows, apparently television makes even stranger bedfellows: Gloria Steinem is joining the Parents Television Council in urging viewers to boycott the upcoming NBC series “The Playboy Club.”
She tells Reuters, “Clearly ‘The Playboy Club’ is not going to be accurate. It was the tackiest place on earth. It was not glamorous at all.”
Steinem, a leading women’s rights advocate, has first-hand knowledge of the inner workings of the club. In 1963 she worked undercover as a Bunny at the New York City Playboy Club while writing for Show magazine. In the article she wrote of the low wages and difficult working conditions these women faced.
“When I was working there and writing the expos� one of the things they had to change because of my expos� was that they required all the Bunnies, who were just waitresses, to have an internal exam and a test for venereal disease,” she adds.
NBC offered no comment on Steinhem’s statements.
The show focuses on the lives of the famed Bunnies as well as clientele at the original Playboy Club in 1960s Chicago.
NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt recently described the show as “really fun soap opera” and “tame compared to what you’d see on ‘Jersey Shore.’” Executive producer Chad Hodge said the program is “all about empowering these women to be whatever they want to be.”
Steinem’s comments mark the latest in a series of controversies for “The Playboy Club.” In July, the PTC issued a letter to NBC affiliates asking them to not air the program. In June, the Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL announced in would not air the period drama. Within days, Salt Lake City’s MyNetworkTV station agreed to pick up the series.
“The Playboy Club” debuts Monday, Sept. 19 at 10 p.m. ET.