Whether you like it or not, Playboy is an American institution. It is also one that is about to be explored further in the upcoming A&E docuseries Secrets of Playboy. Expected to premiere in early 2022, the series will dissect the history, legacy, and untold stories of founder Hugh Hefner’s magazine empire as told by people who experienced it themselves.
The slate of contributors to the documentary is certainly illustrious. Among those who were interviewed for the series are former Playmates Holly Madison, PJ Masten, Sondra Theodore, and Bridget Marquardt. Jennifer Saginor, the daughter of Hefner’s personal doctor Mark Saginor, will also be interviewed alongside other figures such as former Director of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia. Other Playboy staff and confidants will also be featured in the show.
Elaine Frontain Bryant, A&E’s Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, described the show in a statement:
“The fantasy world of Playboy has been shrouded in secrecy for decades and we are proud to lift the veil on these long-hidden stories. Breaking down barriers and exposing the truth, ‘Secrets of Playboy’ is a masterful example of brave storytelling that takes an unflinching look at the personal affects of Hugh Hefner’s empire, while also exploring his legacy’s larger influence on our society and modern-day views of sexuality.”
Playboy was founded by Hefner in 1953 and became synonymous with the sexual revolution of the 1960s. While often praised for breaking cultural taboos surrounding sex, it also received its fair share of criticism for its sometimes exploitative nature. A&E describes the series as an exploration into “how the Playboy machine was a powerful force that, at its worst, manipulated women in a toxic environment, silencing their voices, pitting them against one another, and opening the door to sexual predators.” These conversations are expected to be a focal point of the documentary, which will extend over ten episodes.
Secrets of Playboy will premiere in early 2022 on A&E. Check out the trailer below:
Alternate headline: In defense of rewatching older shows (even when there’s so much new TV to watch).
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