Jonathan Baker interview, insights about Hugh Hefner, women’s rights- February 2022
Jonathan Baker Sits Down with ABC Nightline to Discuss Playboy and Hugh M. Hefner’s Surprisingly Normal Life
The Man that Changed the World by Opening up Sexuality Provides Stable Jobs for Blacks and Women During a Time of Suppression
2/7/22, Los Angeles, CA – Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Empire brand was known as an essential driving force behind the sexual revolution, yet what many don’t know is what happened behind-the-scenes inside the mansion, which longtime friend of Hefner’s (35 years), Hollywood Director Jonathan Baker, reveals in a sit down expose with Nightline. Baker sheds light on the A & E docu series “Secrets of Playboy,” which he himself was interviewed in, stating that Hefner actually gave women a position of strength by empowering them, offering them a voice in a male-dominated society, and the mansion served a platform for them to work and explore their sexuality in a position of opportunity.
Baker’s expose unearths the real Hugh Hefner: the man behind Playboy, Inc.
He gave up his male friends for the women in his life, including the women that worked for him, Bunnies, cocktail waitresses and playmates who worked for the magazine. Hundreds of women that Hefner could have had, he walked away from due to loyalty to male friendships. He gave up all his male friends and co-workers to protect the woman both personally and professionally. There’s a difference between a Playmate and a Bunny; the latter was a cocktail waitress and would rarely step foot in the Playboy Mansion. Playmates worked for the magazine and during their LA shoots, would often stay on the Playboy Mansion grounds. The A & E docu series is a one-sided set of interviews that do not show what many others before have shown: that Hugh Hefner cared about people, humanity and worked very hard for equal rights.
Baker states, “What the series does not convey to the public is there is a big difference between the man and the brand, just like there is a big difference between the playmates and the Bunnies. The Bunnies worked for the magazine; there were only 12 selected per year. They had a theme and were treated like royalty inside the mansion. The others were cocktail waitresses, with hundreds of women working for the company.”
Nightline continues to interview one of the women of color, Bunny Jackie, who worked for Hefner in 1967 for 11+ years and was given a job opportunity saying, “I was paid well, I bought a car and I lived the way I wanted to.” Many people of color who worked for Hugh were provided visibility on television, in magazines and in clubs since the Playboy brand was a progressive beacon that allowed minorities like women and Blacks to finally have a voice.
Baker emphasizes that Hefner cared deeply about the world, his surroundings, the people he worked with, which has been illustrated in many past documentaries of that revolve around Hugh such as “Once Upon a Time” directed by David Lynch and the more current “Hugh Hefner: Playboy, Activist and Rebel” (2009) by Bridget Berman, which celebrated the man on the journey, whereas “Secrets a Playboy” is exposing people, embellishing experiences with regretful choices made, turning personal stories into revenge. Almost all who were interviewed wrote books to make money and Holly earned 11 million off the Playboy brand alone.
“The Secrets of Playboy” A & E docuseries is untruthful, blending the Playboy brand with the person behind it, unrelated to the personal character of Hugh Hefner, only to his company and a few isolated instances.
Baker has been friends with Hefner half his life, and claims he was not overly sexually charged.
Playboy and it’s surroundings were a sexualy charged environment. But underneath that brand was a man that lived a surprisingly normal life. A routine life where what a person does in their bedroom is up to them, who someone wants to be with is up to them. We made such great strides as the world has grown up and Hugh Hefner has been part of that. His days consisted of watching movies, playing cards, backgammon and celebrating the women and close friends that surrounded him. Baker is one of the hundreds, if not thousands, that attest to Hefner’s true character, his passion for people, his love of family and his love of his journey.
Tune in to A & E at 9pm EST to watch the docuseries “Secrets of Playboy.”
For more information on Jonathan Baker, please visit jonathanbaker.com and #jonathanbaker on socials.