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 pursue pleasure.
We are inspired today to carry on this legacy. Advocacy and activism are not just our heritage; they are our future. Today, PLBY Group advocates for equity in race, gender and sexual identity, and supports the free expression of revolutionary new creative voices. 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.
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 of our most recent initiatives 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 2020, 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.
Pride is Good
As advocates for gay rights since our inception in 1953, we debuted our “PRIDE IS GOOD” campaign in collaboration with The Trevor Project’s fight against conversion therapy in June 2019. Our joint effort drove awareness and raised funds for the Trevor Project’s “50 Bills 50 States” initiative, the world’s largest effort working to protect young members of the LGBTQ+ community from conversion therapy. Our campaign featured a first-of-its-kind collection of Bunny ears designed by seven queer artists, inspired by the question, “What does Pride mean to you?”, and culminated in a live Playboy-hosted event honoring survivors of conversion therapy and celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.
Trans Awareness Week
To highlight the stories of Trans people in a range of industries, Playboy partnered with writer Mary Emily O’Hara (they/them) to profile five prominent Trans voices in the community: author Meredith Talusan (they/she), community organizer Kayla Gore (she/her), comedian Kai Choyce (he/him), Vermont state legislator Taylor Small (she/her) and playwright and poet Kit Yan (they/he/she).
Honoring Our Veterans
In honor of Veterans’ Day and Playboy’s long history of supporting our troops, we launched an original Playboy t-shirt with an image of 1965 Playmate of the Year Jo Collins, who visited Vietnam in 1966 to deliver soldiers a lifetime subscription to PLAYBOY magazine. To drive awareness and raise money for our organizational partner, Veterans Cannabis Project, Playboy donated proceeds from each t-shirt purchased to support our Veterans.
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 the Playboy Symposium on voting curated by Alicia Garza, the Playboy Interview series featuring Tarana Burke, Jemele Hill, and Cecile Richards, and our 2021 Black History Month activations featuring a photo essay on Black love by Alexis Hunley and a Playboy Symposium on the subject of race.