As It Happens

Can Playboy be Playboy without nudes? A former editor weighs in

Former Playboy editor Bruce Kluger reacts to the magazine's decision to banish full nudity from its pages.
Bruce Kluger was an editor at Playboy from 1986 to 1999. (Sarina Finkelstein / cp images)

For thirteen years, Bruce Kluger wrote lengthy, well-researched articles that were eclipsed by the pictures that accompanied them. His job was to pen the profiles appearing alongside naked women in the pages of Playboy Magazine.

He tells As It Happens host Carol Off that his "jaw dropped" when he heard this week's news that Playboy would no longer publish full nudity in its pages.

"It's a little astonishing to me," he says. "The nudity has been, since the December 1953 issue, part of the DNA of Playboy."

The magazine's CEO says that the magazine can't compete with the endless nudity and graphic pornography that's now available.

"Anybody who's ever clicked a mouse knows that you can get all the eye candy you can ogle on the Internet" - Bruce Kluger

In his interview with As It Happens, Kluger reminisces about his assignments profiling the naked women of Playboy. "I took it as seriously as any other piece of journalism," he says. 

Kluger says he is often asked if the women he interviewed were "stupid." His response: "I interviewed a woman once who I asked her her favourite book and she said 'TV Guide'...I interviewed another woman whose day job was trading sugar futures."

In the end, Kluger says he doubts that Playboy has a future with or without nudes.

"Newspapers and magazines are dropping like flies across the country...the entire print industry is crashing and burning."  

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