Echoing preemptive vocal protests by Gloria Steinem and her Salt Lake City Mormon backing band, the Parents Television Council has, after several months of being uncharacteristically quiet about it, begun campaigning in earnest for NBC to cancel The Playboy Club, now citing its poor ratings as evidence that “the show is a commercial disaster and must be removed from the airwaves.” Of course, the PTC’s agenda has less to do with preserving the integrity of the NBC lineup, and more to do with all of those boobs you can sort-of see, saying in a statement that the show is “degrading and sexualizing.”
Of course, the PTC conveniently forgets to acknowledge that—as The Playboy Club has demonstrated via at least five or six poignant monologues by now—being degraded and sexualized is actually a form of empowerment, without which we might never have had feminism, civil rights, and, I don’t know, possibly the space program. Nevertheless, it demands that Capital One, Samsung, and Chrysler join other companies such as Subway in pulling its advertisements, who boldly rejected the implicit association between pornography and hot-and-ready footlongs. And surely Subway—along with other companies like Kraft, Campbell’s Soup, and P.F. Chang’s, whose processed cheese foods, canned stews, and affordable pan-Asian fare will now never be enjoyed by sexual deviants—made its decision to not buy any more ad time not because of the show’s rapidly declining viewership, but rather its own moral certitude.