But the Coalition for the War on Illegal Pornography, led by Morality in Media, said the show is nothing more than a pornographic attack on families and the culture that should never see the light of day. “NBC is contributing to the sexual objectification and exploitation of women and encouraging greater acceptance of pornography with its soon-to-be-aired series,” the coalition charged in a press release. The coalition is made up of more than seventy groups, including Focus on the Family, Alliance Defense Fund, Family Research Council, Concerned Women for America, American Family Association, Torah Jews for Decency, Wallbuilders, and the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Morality in Media’s president Patrick Trueman, who is heading up the effort, noted that since the 1950s when the notorious Hugh Hefner launched his “soft-porn” empire, “Playboy Magazine has pushed a philosophy which dictated that, to the ‘sophisticated man,’ the female is a mere toy to be used, abused, and discarded.”
That self-centered philosophy “has inflicted unimaginable harm to our society, now documented by years of research,” added Trueman. “The harms of pornography include addiction of children and adults, violence against women, sexual trafficking, increased child pornography, destruction of marriages, and so much more.”
With the cooperation of NBC, a network in dire need of ratings whatever the cost, “Playboy is poised to cause even more harm, this time bringing its sleaze directly into America’s living rooms,” continued Trueman. “We don’t need NBC to pour more fuel to that fire.”
While Playboy was once equated with the so-called “soft porn” photography it popularized in its sleazy monthly "girlie" magazine, the coalition noted that the company has now gone fully hard-core through its satellite and cable TV channels, as well as through the Internet. Trueman, a former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section with the U.S. Department of Justice, said that the network has chosen the wrong company to partner with. “NBC may have a license to use the public airwaves, but it abuses its privilege when it collaborates with hardcore pornographer Playboy and promotes the exploitation of women,” he said. “The Playboy Club and the Playboy philosophy must be stopped.
To help bring that about, the coalition has launched a website, www.closetheclubonnbc.com, that encourages concerned individuals to contact executives at NBC and express their displeasure at the depths to which the network has sunk to attract viewers. The website also encourages visitors to sign a pledge promising not to watch the series, and to boycott sponsors who advertise during the program.
Predictably, as the coalition introduced its campaign to stop the show, the pornography industry was right there to point out that we live in a sexually liberated world where prudes like those trying to hold the line on smut are not welcome. Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition, which identifies itself as a “trade association for the adult entertainment industry,” told XBiz.com (a website for porn industry news), that it was “unfortunate that Trueman and the folks at Morality in the Media insist upon imposing their puritanical values on the rest of us.” Added the porn industry spokeswoman, “Clearly these folks haven’t taken the time to get to know any of the women they purport to be exploited.”
In fact, one of those women, former porn actress Shelley Lubben, has joined the coalition and spoke candidly about the bogus and destructive nature of NBC’s upcoming porn series. “What’s shown in The Playboy Club is not real,” said Lubben, whose organization the Pink Cross helps to bring healing to women damaged by pornography. “Playboy definitely damages people. It’s pornography, it’s sex trafficking, and it exploits women.” Lubben told Fox News that the series “looks like it’s all cute, taking place back in the old days — it seems harmless, but then they show a quick clip of three people going at it in the bathroom. NBC is breaking the law with this show — they’re not meeting FCC standards.”
Trueman clarified that while the coalition doesn’t yet have any specifics on the content of the series, “reports are that it will include simulated sex and nudity,” he told Fox News, adding that “simulated sex can be prosecuted by Department of Justice as obscene….”
According to the coalition, one of the stars of The Playboy Club explained that she took the role because she idealized Hugh Heffner for his “ progressive and racy nature to push the envelope and push society forward….” But Trueman said that while idolizing the porn king “might be a suitable topic for a porn movie … most people will want to keep that kind of trash programming out of their homes.”
Trueman warned both NBC and the Playboy franchise that the anti-porn coalition will do everything in its power to derail the show. “Every advertiser on The Playboy Club will be boycotted, every local affiliate of NBC will be bombarded by a very large segment of society that is sick and tired of those making money off the sexual exploitation of women,” he said. “The NBC brand, as well as Playboy will suffer great cost.”
One of NBC’s affiliates, KSL-TV in Salt Lake City, Utah, has already informed the network that it will not air the show. “The Playboy brand is known internationally,” KSL President and CEO Mark Willes said in a statement. “Everyone is clear what it stands for. We want to be sure everyone is clear what the KSL brand stands for, which is completely inconsistent with the Playboy brand.”
As reported by the Los Angeles Times, “KSL is owned by the Deseret Media companies, which is controlled by the Mormon Church. The station and the company are sponsors of the ‘Out in the Light Campaign,’ which seeks to educate people on problems associated with viewing sexually explicit material.”