Christie Hefner Opens Up About Her Years at the Helm, Working for Hef and Feminist Politics
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Christie Hefner Opens Up About Her Years at the Helm, Working for Hef and Feminist Politics

In the summer of 1982 news broke that 29-year-old, Brandeis University–educated Christie Hefner, the first child of Hugh Hefner, had been appointed president of Playboy Enterprises, the $389 million company launched almost 30 years before by her father. The announcement raised eyebrows and red flags. For all her smarts and poise, was she up to the task? Would she actually be given any real power by her 56-year-old father, who owned 70 percent of the company stock and whose take on sex, social justice, pop culture and the high life marked every page of the magazine he created in 1953? She, a committed feminist, wanted the magazine and the company to reflect the shifting cultural tide. Surely an epic clash of wills was imminent, one that could even bring down the whole Playboy empire. Criticism came thick and fast—some of it veiled, some not. One national magazine patronizingly crowned her “the Princess of Playboy.” Depending on the viewpoint (and prejudices) of the observer,…

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