Today, I woke up to the news about the release of the new A&E series “Secrets of Playboy”. And, to my surprise, it gave me a lot of thoughts and feelings. I, once, wrote about my experiences at the Playboy Mansion. While many mistook my Playboy book as being anti-Playboy or as speaking out against Hef (mostly those who didn’t read it), I felt I was respectful of him in my book. Because I DID respect Hef and his family, and I cared deeply for him. I appreciated the opportunities he gave me; he never asking for anything in return, and I became friends with many people in his world. So, I felt a need to provide perspective.
I wasn’t around the Playboy Mansion in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, and I’m sure there could have been a lot that happened there that wasn’t PC. But I wasn’t around for that and, in my time there, I never saw anything like the accusations I’ve been hearing thrown around. I felt respected by Hef and his friends, and I felt I had a home away from home at the Playboy Mansion for a time.
These people that are speaking out about Hef, I do not know their stories, and I’m not here to deny their claims or speak against them. But in light of this new Playboy docuseries, I want to remind everyone about perspective:
Perspective is so important in journalism, and I think most people have forgotten that. Many members of the media, storytellers in their own right, love to interview everyone with a negative story while ignoring those with a positive story to paint a nasty, black and white perspective. But the world exists in shades of grey! You need to take the things that are good that people say with the bad things to gain a full perspective on a situation. I’m not saying people didn’t have negative experiences, but just as many people had positive experiences that are being ignored, and that’s not fair.
That may not be what you expected me to say, but that’s where my thoughts are lingering. They should have interviewed his close friends and those who would defend him (and include that footage, too) so people could get the full story. So many people had positive experiences with Hef. And, from what I’m seeing on Facebook, they DID interview many of Hef’s closest friends, they just didn’t include their positive comments. I have seen many who loved him come forth, defend him, and talk about the good on Facebook, too, so hopefully that will be taken into consideration.
Since I can’t comment on anyone else’s experiences, here’s my two cents regarding MY personal experiences with Hugh Hefner.
I was a regular at the Playboy Mansion for roughly five years. Hugh Hefner was always kind to me. He would come down, smile at everyone, and laugh throughout dinner. His laugh was contagious. He was happy to have people around him. I was never asked to do anything sexual. Nothing sexual happened around me. I was never pressured to be there. I was invited, treated with respect, and befriended by many. Was there drama amongst the girls? Sure! It’s a bunch of girls in one place! But I, personally, never had any bad experiences with Hef and never felt uncomfortable around him.
If you want to read more about my experiences, you can read my book.
I hope it will provide you with some much-needed perspective on this situation. In life, people gathered around Hef to celebrate. He brought a community together. He created a community of people, who long after his death, still get together and celebrate his life and remember him. His impression left such a positive impact on so many that I know, and that shouldn’t be discounted as we talk about him in 2022. So, sure, take the bad if you want. I’m not discounting it, but take the good, too, and see a grey human being instead of an evil monster. I’m not asking you to care about him. I’m just asking you to add a little perspective to your viewpoints.