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Stream Your Heart Out: “Secrets of Playboy” Review

by Emily Lohr

At what point does a person become irredeemable? At what point does the “good” they’ve done stop outweighing the bad they’ve done?

These are questions one may have when watching A&E Network’s new show “Secrets of Playboy.” 

The show tends to pick a unique angle by including both sides, those against Hefner and those still supporting Hefner (surprisingly, the supporters still exist).

Each episode travels further down the rabbit hole of Playboy’s secrets, crimes, and cover ups.

Some of the secrets aren’t very surprising, including rampant drug use in the Playboy Mansion. Another unsurprising, albeit still disappointing, secret is the drugs Hefner uses to get the “Bunnies” to have intercourse. 

Multiple sources claimed he publicly referred to Quaaludes (a sedative which was made illegal in the mid-1980s due to widespread abuse and addiction) as “leg spreaders.” Overall, the drug scene was constant in the mansion, including multiple scripts in various employees names. All the house’s prescriptions were delivered right to Hugh’s personal bedroom drawer. 

The amount of cover ups, whether legal or just PR stunts, is quite astounding. They go into detail about how the Playboy Club had extensive security, but the minute the Bunnies leave the club, literally, that security ends. This includes even the Bunnies walking back to their car in the parking lot. Many accounts of assault were described by ex-employees, some being followed once they left the club, or incidents occurring right in the parking lot.

People like to excuse Hefner and his enterprise’s behavior in the name of “women’s liberation.” But is it liberation when the women are exploited, attacked, or thrown out of the house over a bad PR blip?

Hefner also had cameras in the majority of the rooms in the house. Endless hours of footage from those hidden cameras became possible blackmail material for the elite celebrities who would frequent the mansion.

As the series went on, more harrowing details were revealed. As described by one of Hefner’s ex-girlfriends, most days of the week ended with several people hooking up in Hugh’s bedroom, fueled by video cameras and drugs. 

One of the worst occurrences of this included what Hefner and his friends referred to as “Pig Night.” “Pig Night” would happen on Thursdays. Hefner would get prostitutes from Sunset Boulevard. At the mansion, Hefner and his friends (which included unnamed celebrity actors) would interact with them. Then, one by one, the escorts would be checked by a doctor on-site and brought to various rooms for a variety of celebrities and Hefner.

Hefner is a narcissist to the point of comparing himself directly to Christ. In some interview footage included in the documentary, Hefner says he would get along with Christ because they “both forgave the whores.”

Overall, this show shocked me in ways I didn’t think it could. While I never was a fan of Hefner or Playboy, I couldn’t really place a finger on why. This show revealed that not all creepy people are dangerous but some definitely are. 

Hugh Hefner was creepy, harmful, and dangerous, and this show showed extensive receipts for it. It is heartbreaking to hear some of these horror stories from the victims, but in their own way, I think it helped some of them gain closure on it. Even though Hefner is dead now, revealing his actions and holding those still alive that are associated with him accountable is vital. 

This show helps share the message that no matter how powerful you are, if you do wrong, you should be held accountable for your actions and how they affect those around you.

1 Comment on Stream Your Heart Out: “Secrets of Playboy” Review

  1. This review is so good — and reveals (even for those who can’t bear to watch) the ugly things that happened at the mansion, all without giving away too much (for those who might watch).


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