Since its inception, Playboy has fought for cultural progress rooted in the core values of equality, freedom of expression, and the conviction that pleasure is a fundamental human right. For nearly 70 years, we have lent our platform to revolutionary voices and ideas, and committed our resources and rallied our audiences on civil rights, reproductive rights, LGBTQ+ equality, cannabis law reform, and other crucial social justice causes in an effort to push society forward and create a culture where all people can safely pursue pleasure.
We are continually inspired to carry on this legacy, and to confront any parts of our legacy that do not reflect these values. Advocacy and activism are not just our heritage; they are our future. Today, PLBY Group advocates for creative free expression, sexual safety and education, and equity in race, gender and sexual identity. Our social impact work is inherent to our internal team practices, our product development processes, and our marketing strategies. It comes to life in our campaigns, partnerships, and the support we provide to organizations doing crucial on-the-ground work.
Social Justice & Cannabis
As Black Panther Party co-founder Huey Newton said in the pages of PLAYBOY magazine in 1973, “America will not be changed until the world is changed. To say that change will come here just through the ballot box would be a fantasy.” We’re here to do the work. Our anti-racism work includes internal resource commitments, providing a platform for Black voices and creators, and advocating for policy change.
One recent initiative is a mentorship program created in partnership with the Eaze Momentum accelerator program. Playboy team members and executives are volunteering their time to support Black and Brown cannabis entrepreneurs on topics ranging from marketing to fundraising, and more. In addition, we recently partnered with the grassroots organization, Last Prisoner Project, on a range of programs, including a team letter-writing effort to provide moral support and encouragement to those currently incarcerated for cannabis-related offenses.
And during National Expungement Week, we rolled out our multi-pronged cannabis law reform and advocacy campaign. As part of our initiative, we commissioned seven artists to create work inspired by the inequities of federal cannabis prohibition and lent our own social media platforms alongside those of prominent Playboy Playmates to beneficiaries or representatives of NORML, Last Prisoner Project, Marijuana Policy Project, Eaze’s Momentum Program, and the Veterans Cannabis Project to raise awareness around cannabis-related injustice.
During Pride month, Playboy partnered with five influential voices in the LGBTQIA+ community to design custom products that demonstrate strength and optimism in what has been a challenging year: Kittens, Bretman Rock, Gigi Goode, Leo Baker and Ev’yan Whitney (pictured).
All proceeds from these products were donated to APLA Health in support of their mission to achieve health care equity among the LGBTQIA+ and other underserved communities especially those living with and affected by HIV.
Breaking New Ground with the Cover
In October, we redefined an icon when Bretman Rock donned the classic Bunny Costume. Rock became the first openly gay man to pose for a PLAYBOY cover, and lit up the internet in the process, serving as a catalyst for important conversations about gender.
The moment earned coverage from more than 2,000 publications including Them, The Advocate, People and USA Today.
Gender & Sexuality & NFTs
The fight for equality and representation that continues to define the art world at large feels especially urgent in the fast-moving world of NFTs, which is consistently and accurately characterized as a cis male-dominated space. In June we partnered with artist Shantell Martin to present the three-part NFT, Bowie 1976, as part of Nifty Pride, a collection of NFTs by some of the world’s biggest visual and musical artists in celebration of the LGBTQ community with all primary sale proceeds going to GLAAD and the artists.
In January we unveiled The Art of Gender and Sexuality, the first of four Playboy x Sevens partnerships. The grant-exhibition is meant to provide a platform for artists who use their creative talents to fiercely and unapologetically expand the borders of “normal,” who confront social conventions, and who celebrate the power of diverse identities. Submissions were curated by the Playboy team and artists Shantell Martin, IX Shells, Nadya Tolokonnikova and Anne Spalter.
Passing the Mic
Building on Playboy’s heritage of amplifying revolutionary voices and ideas, we continue to leverage our vast reach to provide a platform for activists, artists and culture creators today. Our recent initiatives include a series of live conversations on censorship, gender, self-expression, race and sexuality featuring Gigi Goode, Philip Picardi, Lana Rhoades, Trinidad James and Nadya Tolokonnikova (amongst others), a Twitter takeover on 420 on the subject of cannabis-related social issues with dream hampton, Matt Barnes, Ashlee Marie Preston and Brian Karem, and Black History Month activations featuring a photo essay on Black love by Alexis Hunley and a Playboy Symposium on the subject of race.