Hugh Hefner’s daughter Christie opens up about keeping Playboy founder’s legacy alive


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For Christie Hefner, visiting the Playboy Mansion was a baby’s dream.

Christie, 65, continues to have fond reminiscences of her many visits to the unique opulent grownup playground in her father’s native Chicago.

The area for Playboy journal founder Hugh Hefner and his bunnies was primarily based within the Windy Metropolis from 1959 to 1974.


Hefner would transfer on west and the brand new Playboy Mansion was then primarily based in Los Angeles. He offered that property in 2016 however was allowed to dwell there till his dying in 2017 at age 91.

“What made it magical was that it had a entice door,” Christie instructed Fox Information. “It had a secret panel. It had a recreation room the place each recreation was out there with out ever having to place 1 / 4 in it. It had a fireman’s pole. It was only a actually cool place when you have been a child. It had a bowling alley, an underground pool — it was fairly enjoyable.”

And whereas Hefner was busy main a publishing empire, he additionally was prepared to participate in pursuing his different ardour — taking part in video games.

“He beloved taking part in video games,” confused Christie. “After I was youthful, we used to play Monopoly with a gaggle of buddies. He received very into Backgammon. Very into pinball. He was positively a kind of individuals who wasn’t very into sports activities however was a continuing recreation participant, and I’d add, a extremely aggressive recreation participant.”

However life wasn’t all the time enjoyable and video games for Christie. Individuals journal famous she ran the household enterprise alongside her father for 26 years till 2009. And in 1979, she established the Hugh M. Hefner First Modification Awards, in conjuction with Playboy’s 25th anniversary.

The awards purpose to honor those that have made important contributions in defending First Modification proper for all People.

This yr’s ceremony, the primary since Hefner’s passing, happened June four on the Newseum in Washington, D.C. The Lifetime Achievement Award was granted to Joan E. Bertin, longtime govt director of the Nationwide Coalition Towards Censorship (NCAC).

Christie mentioned the awards proceed to have fun her father, a person who was decided to guard civil rights in his lifetime.

“I feel one of many issues that led Playboy to its success was that it was primarily based on the philosophy of concepts round social justice and private freedom,” she defined. “And the corporate’s actions over a few years, whether or not it was syndicating TV exhibits with an built-in forged in spite that Southern stations wouldn’t settle for the programming… to launching the careers of African-American artists. I feel it’s basic to who he was and what Playboy is, a deep perception in social justice and private freedom.”

The New York Instances reported the Playboy Philosophy advocated freedom of speech in all its facets. Hefner additionally supported progressive social causes and even misplaced some sponsors after he invited black friends to its televised events at a time when a lot of the nation nonetheless had Jim Crow legal guidelines in place.

In a 2009 interview with Time journal, he revealed, “I’m not an energetic feminist, I’m an energetic humanist. I separated methods from the American feminist motion after they turned anti-sexual. I imagine embracing sexuality is part of what it means to be free.”

And Hefner wasn’t shy about embracing concepts that have been taboo. In 1955, simply two years after Playboy launched, Hefner revealed a brief story titled “The Crooked Man,” which depicted a dystopian future the place homosexuality finally turns into the norm. The science fiction piece instantly sparked backlash.

“Right here is clearly a heterosexual males’s journal,” defined Christie. “And it could have been really easy to fully ignore the difficulty or frankly, do what a variety of media did for a few years, which is to method the perspective of homosexual rights as one thing to kind of be made enjoyable of or to not be revered.

“However early on, due to my father’s beliefs, Playboy took a very completely different perspective… Playboy was a protected place, a spot that took possibilities and it attracted the sort of people that have been prepared to place a stake within the floor in help of issues that may have been forward of the time.”

Christie admitted Hefner “was not an advice-giver.” Nonetheless, he shared one piece of recommendation from his expertise in working Playboy that she nonetheless follows right this moment.

“Don’t be afraid to be round good individuals and ask questions,” she mentioned. “He would say, ‘I don’t have an MBA, however I’ve an MBWA – Administration By Strolling Round.’”

All through his life, Hefner was continuously criticized for launching a model that some imagine sexually objectified ladies. Christie mentioned the work of Playboy ought to communicate for itself.

“I feel the report is fairly away from not simply the work of the muse when it comes to offering grants for the Ladies’s Rights Challenge and the Homosexual Rights Challenge, but in addition strolling the stroll,” she mentioned. “Males can each need and admire ladies and it’s not about desirous to dwell on a planet the place there’s no sexual attraction or no flirting or courting. It’s about desirous to dwell on a planet the place there’s mutual respect and open communication.

“I’ll always remember very early on this Playboy Advisor query. This was so a few years in the past that I’m not even certain the phrase ‘date rape’ had entered the vernacular. And the Playboy Advisor writing again in impact… [said] ladies had the proper to say no, even when her panties are off.

“The perspective of the journal was all the time that ladies are to be revered. That doesn’t imply they’re not stunning they usually’re to not be admired. I feel that’s the world each women and men need to dwell in.”

Regardless of the continuing criticism Hefner endured all through his lifetime for his daring outlook on American society and sexuality, he was not an individual of remorse.

“Later in life he was requested about that,” mentioned Christie. “He mentioned… ‘There have been small choices that if I needed to do yet again, I may need carried out it over. Perhaps enterprise choices, or different issues, sure. However on the large choices? Am I actually completely satisfied and glad with my life and the way it turned out? I couldn’t be happier.’

“He noticed the larger arc of his life. He was eternally boyish and delighted by all that had occurred to him, all that he was in a position to make occur. He by no means turned jaded or cynical in the way in which that typically individuals who have fame or monetary success do. He by no means took it with no consideration. By no means traded in his buddies… His core circle of buddies have been individuals who like to look at basic films and play Gin… I feel he was grounded in a means that allowed him to really feel very glad along with his life.”

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