WASHINGTON, Oct. 4, 2011 ( – A period drama glorifying the promiscuous lifestyle of Playboy prostitutes has been dropped from network television following a successful advertiser boycott led by morality and parenting advocates.

Morality in Media (MIM) stated in a press release Tuesday that NBC has “closed the club” thanks to “dismal ratings and viewer outrage, cancelling a series that glorified the sexual exploitation of women and the Playboy philosophy that women are to be used, abused and then discarded.”

“It is great news that the ‘Playboy Club’ is cancelled after just three episodes. Clearly viewers are not interested in supporting the brand that normalized pornography and caused immeasurable harm to women, children and to the men who became addicted to porn,” said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of Morality in Media. Hawkins is also organizer of the site

The series premiered on September 19, several weeks after the Parents Television Council pre-emptively called for a boycott of the show, which follows the lives of several employees of the first Playboy Club in Chicago in the early 1960s.


According to Hawkins, key NBC advertisers left the show after receiving more than 20,000 emails through Morality in Media’s Close the Club site.

Interestingly, a major force of opposition came from Gloria Steinem, a seminal leader of the pro-abortion feminist movement, who slammed the show as “normaliz[ing] prostitution and male dominance” and encouraged a boycott.

“The efforts of Morality in Media, Parent’s Television Council, Gloria Steinem and many others lead to the public outrage and ultimate cancellation of the show,” said Hawkins.

Playboy, once equated with “softcore” pornography, distributes hardcore pornography on pay TV channels and the Internet, MIM notes. Distribution of hardcore pornography can be prosecuted under federal and state obscenity laws, according to Patrick Trueman, Morality in Media president and a former chief of the Justice Department’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section.

“We’ll use the same public pressure that closed the club to get the attention of the U.S. Justice Department which has not prosecuted one case against pornographers during the current administration,” said Trueman.