Playboy drops nude pictures, can’t compete in digital pornography age

Now readers of Playboy, the glossy men’s magazine known for its nude fold-outs, can honestly say they are buying the magazine for its articles.

Playboy will no longer publish nude photographs of women, the New York Times reported on Monday in an article quoting Scott Flanders, the company’s chief executive.

Founder and editor-in-chief Hugh Hefner (89) who in his trademark silk pajamas has embodied the Playboy lifestyle, agreed last month with a suggestion by top editor Cory Jones to stop publishing images of naked women, the Times said.

At a time when every teenage boy has an internet connected phone and the web is rife with pornography, the magazine has opted to continue featuring women in provocative poses, just not completely nude, the Times said.

“You’re now one click away from every sex act imaginable for free,” Flanders was quoted as saying. “And so it’s just passe at this juncture.”


The magazine that featured Marilyn Monroe on its debut cover in 1953 is making the changes after circulation dropped from 5.6-million in 1975 to about 800 000 now.

Reducing women to sex objects
After its initial success, the magazine was attacked from the political right because of the nudity and from the left by feminists who said it reduced women to sex objects.

Some changes are still under debate, including whether or not there will continue to be a centrefold. Playboy magazine’s sex columnist will be a woman, who writes enthusiastically about sex, said Jones.

The magazine has always had intellectual appeal with top writers such as Kurt Vonnegut, Joyce Carol Oates, Vladimir Nabokov, James Baldwin and Alex Haley for men who liked to say they did not buy the magazine just for the pictures.

In-depth interviews with historic figures such as Fidel Castro, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X and John Lennon also were a regular feature.

“Don’t get me wrong,” Mr Jones said of the decision to eliminate nude pictures, “Twelve-year-old me is very disappointed in current me. But it’s the right thing to do.” – Reuters

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Art and graphics

Conrad Botes makes a comment on censorship, while Zapiro has his finger on the pulse as usual

Why gay porn appeals to women

Heterosexual porn displays women ‘being fucked’ by men and it’s demeaning

Feminist porn answers a need

Women viewers are increasing and that could help to usher in the sex revolution we are hankering after

CNN obtains Trump-Cohen affair hush money tape

The tape was secretly recorded by Trump's former longtime attorney Michael Cohen two months before the 2016 election

How Hugh Hefner’s world helped Donald Trump get into the White House

Male voters may have felt “oppressed” by political correctness as much as Hefner’s followers felt trampled by the imperative to marry.

Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner dead at 91

Hugh Hefner, the Playboy founder and the star of the reality show "The Girls Next Door," has died, Playboy said Wednesday.
Advertising

Subscribers only

Covid-19 surges in the Eastern Cape

With people queuing for services, no water, lax enforcement of mask rules and plenty of partying, the virus is flourishing once again, and a quarter of the growth is in the Eastern Cape

Ace prepares ANC branches for battle

ANC secretary general Ace Magashule is ignoring party policy on corruption-charged officials and taking his battle to branch level, where his ‘slate capture’ strategy is expected to leave Ramaphosa on the ropes

More top stories

Journey through anxious Joburg

A new book has collected writing about the condition of living, yes, with a high crime rate, but also other, more pervasive existential urban stresses particular to the Global South

Football legend Maradona dies

The Argentinian icon died at his home on Wednesday, two weeks after having surgery on a blood clot in his brain

Why no vaccine at all is better than a botched...

As Covid vaccines near the manufacturing stage, a look at two polio vaccines provides valuable historical insights

Under cover of Covid, Uganda targets LGBTQ+ shelter

Pandemic rules were used to justify a violent raid on a homeless shelter in Uganda, but a group of victims is pursuing a criminal case against the perpetrators
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…