Former Bunny Holly Madison: ‘Getting Into the Playboy World Was a Dangerous Choice’

Screenshot from A&E’s YouTube

Former Bunny Holly Madison: ‘Getting Into the Playboy World Was a Dangerous Choice’

By Movieguide® Staff

A new docuseries called SECRETS OF PLAYBOY features former Playboy bunny Holly Madison and others who revealed the truth behind High Hefner’s business.

The 10-part series will explore how Hefner, who died in 2017 at the age of 91, built a thriving magazine business and discuss some of the “hidden truths” behind his power.

“I didn’t realize that getting into the Playboy world was a dangerous choice,” Madison, 41, says in the show’s trailer. “There was a side of Playboy that nobody wants to talk about.”

Alongside Madison, the show features interviews with former Director of Playmate Promotions Miki Garcia, Hefner’s personal valet Stefan Tetenbaum, PJ Masten, Playboy mansion resident Jennifer Saginor, and many of Hefner’s staff.

“He didn’t want people to know what was really going on,” Saginor says in the trailer.

“It was a beautiful world – it looked that way – but it was really ugly,” said another interviewee.

Elaine Frontain Bryant, A&E’s Executive Vice President and Head of Programming, will shed light on the truth behind the glamour of Playboy.

“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,” Bryant wrote in the press release. “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.”

“Across 10 hours, ‘Secrets of Playboy’ examines the Playboy empire that was both a beacon of progress and a gateway into a much darker world,” the press release reads.

Hefner was not shy about his mission, to redefine sex in mainstream culture. By the 1970s, Playboy magazine had 7 million readers.

In 1992 Hefner shared his proudest achievement: “That I changed attitudes toward sex. That nice people can live together now. That I decontaminated the notion of premarital sex. That gives me great satisfaction,” he told The New York Times.

Culture’s hypersexualization has created devastating consequences. Playboy fueled sexual exploitation and pornography consumption.

Now, there’s a major reckoning as popular pornography sites must be held accountable for their actions.

As Movieguide® previously reported:

Over recent months, Pornhub and its parent company have come under fire for enabling sexual exploitation of minors, abuse, human trafficking, and the violation of privacy rights. The letter continues to note the lack of legal consequences for the companies despite Pornhub’s continued publication and even monetization of non-consensual sexual content. 

“MindGeek, which owns Pornhub and at least 160 other hardcore pornography websites, serves as a case study of corporate indifference regarding harm caused to women and children on its platform. It has received widespread international condemnation for facilitating and profiting from criminal acts including sex trafficking, filmed sexual abuse of children, and nonconsensually recorded and distributed pornography,” the letter reads

“Additionally, because MindGeek intentionally placed a download button on every video distributed on Pornhub until December 2020, after being exposed by The New York Times, the company has violated federal age verification and record-keeping laws under 18 USC Section 2257 for over a decade. This is because the download button caused the direct transfer of pornography from MindGeek servers to individuals’ devices around the globe.”

Dawn Hawkins, the CEO of the Washington-based National Center on Sexual Exploitation, said that MindGeek and Pornhub actively turn a blind eye to their facilitation of sexual exploitation and trafficking. 

“MindGeek has profited from illegal material for far too long, and it must be held to account. Even now, Canada has opened an investigation into MindGeek for violations of federal privacy laws. U.S. authorities must take action as well,” Hawkins told The Christian Post. “MindGeek cannot continue to operate with impunity. Congress must step up to bring justice for survivors, and to put an end to the pornography industry’s penchant for preying on vulnerable people.”

The letter comes after a number of civil lawsuits and a virtual congressional briefing where survivors shared how the porn industry exploited and harmed them by refusing to take down non-consensual and abusive content.  

Perhaps SECRETS OF PLAYBOY will continue to shine light on the devastating effects of a hypersexualized culture.