| LOS ANGELES
LOS ANGELES Aug 9 Veteran women's rights
campaigner Gloria Steinem said on Friday she hoped TV viewers
would boycott "The Playboy Club", calling the 1960s nightclubs
tacky and far from the glamorous places depicted in the show.
"Clearly 'The Playboy Club' is not going to be accurate. It
was the tackiest place on earth. It was not glamorous at all,"
Steinem told Reuters in an interview.
Steinem, one of America's leading crusaders for women's
rights for 40 years, went undercover to work as a Bunny at the
New York City Playboy Club in 1963 and wrote a ground-breaking
expose about the onerous conditions for women who worked
"When I was working there and writing the expose, one of
the things they had to change because of my expose was that
they required all the Bunnies, who were just waitresses, to
have an internal exam and a test for venereal disease," she
Steinem said she regards the Emmy Award-winning drama "Mad
Men", which is also set in the 1960s as "a net plus, because it
shows the world of the early 1960s with some realism."
But she added; "I expect that 'The Playboy Club' will be a
net minus and I hope people boycott it. It's just not telling
the truth about the era."
"The Playboy Club", set in the first Playboy Club in
Chicago, debuts in September as one of the centerpieces of
NBC's new fall television season.
Speaking to TV reporters last week in Los Angeles, network
executives, producers and the show's cast all rejected opinions
by critics who feel the series will glamorize the porn industry
and is demeaning to modern women.
NBC entertainment chairman Robert Greenblatt called the
show a "really fun soap opera", while executive producer Chad
Hodge told TV reporters that the program was "all about
empowering these women to be whatever they want to be."
One NBC affiliate, in Salt Lake City, has already said it
will not broadcast the show but NBC says it does not expect
others to follow.
Steinem, 77, said on Friday that it was important to reject
the TV series, despite the fact that it is set 40 years ago.
"It normalizes a passive dominant idea of gender. So it
normalizes prostitution and male dominance...I just know that
over the years, women have called me and told me horror stories
of what they experienced at the Playboy Club and at the Playboy
Mansion," she said.
Steinem was speaking ahead of the premiere of an HBO
documentary about her life, "Gloria: In her Own Words", on Aug
(Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)