Watchdogs sustain the pressure on NBC over Playboy program


Seriously – who needs a publicity department when the watchdog community is out there doing its level best to make sure that all of America knows that there might be some potentially racy programming available on NBC this Fall? Morality in Media is the latest – it’s asking advertisers to avoid “The Playboy Club,” and of course inadvertently suggesting to open-minded TV viewers everywhere that it might be worth checking out.

Morality in Media is not only asking advertisers to skip “The Playboy Club” – it’s asking them to “use their influence” to get NBC to simply pull the program from the schedule entirely.

MiM’s Dawn Hawkins said, “We will expect advertisers to steer clear of the promotion of the Playboy lifestyle and pornography. On a recent media tour, the show’s producers stated–with a straight face–that The Playboy Club is all about ‘female empowerment.’ Sexual exploitation of women is not empowering.”

Patrick A. Trueman, MiM’s President, added, “Today – with NBC’s use of the public airwaves – Playboy is poised to cause even more harm, this time bringing its pornographic worldview directly into America’s living rooms. We don’t need NBC to pour more fuel to that fire.”

A website has been created — – which enlists citizens to take various steps aimed at making the program unprofitable, including contacting local NBC affiliates.

RBR-TVBR observation: Is this show going to be indecent? Doubtful – NBC would be crazy to blatantly alert the indecency cops that evil material is headed for the public airwaves. Will the program be misogynistic? Again, doubtful – NBC doesn’t need every civil rights organization in the nation hanging its emblematic peacock in effigy.

No – most likely, with so much scrutiny coming, partly due to all the watchdog-created notoriety before so much as a foot of video has been aired — NBC will produce a responsible program that explores the issue of marginalizing women.

Frankly, we don’t know what the show’s producers intend to do, but that’s what we would do.
What likely will happen is that a large number of people will sample the program, thanks to all the watchdog attention and find that it isn’t any big deal in terms of shock value. The only damage done will not be to their delicate psyches of the viewers but rather to the credibility and reputation of the national nannies in the watchdog community.

If the program is indeed good, NBC will might have a hit on its hands – at the very least it will likely get far more viewer sampling than it would have had the watchdogs simply waited until there was actually something to complain about.