CBC Digital Archives

Hugh Hefner defends Playboy

"Why don't we ever see women in your magazine ... that look the way women really look in life?" asks Barbara Frum. In this 1983 CBC-TV interview, she's talking to Playboy founder Hugh Hefner about a plan to air Playboy Channel content on a new Canadian pay-TV channel. Frum challenges Hefner on his magazine's ideals, but he defends them: "I would say that about 98 per cent of the population is enjoying life in the bedroom more today than their counterparts were 30 years ago, precisely because of Playboy magazine."
• Hugh Hefner was born in Chicago on April 9, 1926.
  • He founded Playboy magazine in 1952.

• Inspired by the success of the magazine, in 1960 Hefner began opening Playboy Clubs. The first Playboy Club opened in Chicago on Feb. 29, 1960. By 1984 there were 40 clubs in the United States, Japan, Jamaica, the Philippines, the United Kingdom and Canada (there was only one in Canada, located in Montreal). In its heyday there were more than one million members. To learn more about Playboy Clubs and watch a 1967 interview with a Playboy bunny, please see the Digital Archives clip Bunny tales.

• First Choice, one of Canada's first pay-TV networks, launched in February 1983. It originally aired Playboy Channel content at midnight on weekends. The decision to do so was controversial and spurred extensive protests from Canadian feminist groups. But as a Globe and Mail article explained a year later, in February 2004, the decision also attracted many subscribers: "When First Choice made a deal to broadcast Playboy movies and other programming, it moved thousands of people to subscribe and thousands of others to protest."

• Hefner has more than 200 pairs of silk pyjamas, and he is known for wearing them at any time of the day or night. In a 2007 Mail Online (UK) article, Hefner said of his pyjamas: "Silk against skin is very sensual. You have no idea how comfortable it is to lie around wearing pyjamas. I started wearing them all the time because I was working at night, and then I started wearing them when I entertained. I realised I could get away with it. Then, of course, people were disappointed if they didn't find me in pyjamas."

• Hefner was expected to be at the 2009 Toronto International Film Festival to promote a new film about himself called Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel, directed by Oscar-winning documentary maker Brigitte Berman.

Medium: Television
Program: The Journal
Broadcast Date: March 2, 1983
Guest(s): Hugh Hefner
Interviewer: Barbara Frum
Duration: 11:33

Last updated: February 22, 2012

Page consulted on August 29, 2013

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