I don’t care that this wrinkly, abusive old turtle is dead


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I don’t care that this wrinkly, abusive old turtle is dead

Hugh Hefner was a terrible person

In a sequence of events that surprised absolutely no one, Hugh Hefner died of natural causes snuggled up in his Holmby Hills mansion last night, surrounded by family. He was 91.

After the death of an icon — and no doubt about it, he was one — lengthy, fluffy, life-scoping obituaries are quick to roll out from every outlet. But it’s all just a highlight reel.

Every tribute I’ve read to Hugh Hefner has been just that: a tribute. So let’s talk about the abusive, manipulative way he treated friends, family, and the scores of women who came into his life looking for love, fame, and acceptance. Sorry, but I don’t give a fuck about his death.

He emotionally abused his girlfriends and wives

Let’s start with a high-profile list of accusations leveled against him a few years ago by his most famous ex, Holly Madison. In her best-selling book, Holly describes in graphic detail the disgusting treatment she and other girls faced at the Playboy Mansion.

She says Hef was emotionally abusive, refusing to allow her or the other girlfriends to be friendly with one another, go home for Christmas, or even wear certain clothes or makeup.

He turned the girls against each other and encouraged in-fighting…except for when it was time to fuck. That’s when he’d offer them sedatives like quaadludes (which he called “thigh-openers”) to ease them into a nightly group sex routine. One particularly upsetting scene in her book describes an incident in which Holly, who retreated to the bedroom closet, was followed by Hef who screamed that she was a cheap cunt.

She also described the deteriorating shape of the mansion: decades-old carpets soaked in pet urine and feces, hordes of old newspapers and magazines towering around Hef’s room, and a reels and reels of porn, one of which entitled “girl with dog.”

He dressed up exploitation as sexual revolution

So much of Hugh Hefner’s past has been made to look like he was at the forefront of the sexual revolution, and women’s sexual liberation. But what he preached in the magazine and what he practiced in real life were very different. Take the famous Playboy Bunnies, the ones in the actual ears-and-tail costumes that worked at the Playboy clubs and casinos.

As reported by Gloria Steinem (who went undercover as one), Bunnies were routinely demeaned. They had to stay within five pounds of their hiring weight or else face termination. Eating disorders and inter-Bunny bullying were rampant as girls were pitted against each other. Before a Bunny could ever be hired, they had to undergo a full gynecological exam and pap smear.

Hef routinely bragged about having slept with “thousands” of women which isn’t in and of itself gross. But the way women were entirely disposable to him is. Two former girlfriends, Carla and Melissa Howe, described Hef “passing women” from Mansion guest to Mansion guest without a second thought.

He kept some disgusting company

Fellow abusive old guy Bill Cosby was a very close friend of Hef, who was subpoenaed in Cosby’s assorted rape trials. In the year before his death, Hef was sued in a civil suit by a woman who claimed Hef was Cosby’s co-conspirator in her rape, alleging that Playboy tycoon knew what was going on and helped sedate her when she was a teenager.

Two old guys accused of using their money and fame to abuse and silence young women? Wish I could say this didn’t sound familiar.

So why are we celebrating Hugh Hefner again?

If I have to read one more tweet about what a “legend and hero” this guy was, I will scream. His entire empire is based on the backs (and fronts) of women who got pretty much zero in return. Really, celebrity covers aside, how many Playmates can you name? How many girlfriends, wives? Sure, he helped to publicize things like civil and gay rights. That was rightly revolutionary and invaluable and important. But that doesn’t negate all of the terrible things he’s done, either.

Hugh Hefner was a predator, plain and simple. He hurt and exploited women in any way he could to make a quick buck. No, I don’t care about the death of Hef and you shouldn’t either. And if there’s any justice in the world, he’s hanging out in hell, forced to stuff his torso into a tight bunny suit and serve drinks to demons. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯