Girls of the Playboy Mansion
E! Entertainment, 27 December 2011, 10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 21:00
Girls of the Playboy Mansion is a reality television series, filmed in the USA home of Hugh Hefner, the American magazine publisher and founder of the adult entertainment company Playboy Enterprises. It features the day to day activities of a group of women who live with Hugh Hefner in his house, known as the Playboy Mansion. The series was broadcast on the cable and satellite television channel E! Entertainment.
During routine monitoring, Ofcom noted various episodes (each of about thirty minutes duration) of the Girls of the Playboy Mansion broadcast consecutively throughout the day and evening on E! Entertainment on 27 December 2011. The programmes featured:
- at 10:54 a male stripper wearing a pouch thong (his buttocks were blurred and genitals covered) thrusting his buttocks into the face of the mother of one of Hugh Hefner?s girlfriends during a lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion with the accompanying comment: she needed a good ass in her face (this scene and comment were also broadcast as part of a preview at the start of the episode);
- a number of sequences showing women and female glamour models, posing and being photographed during casting sessions for the 55th anniversary Playmate cover (with naked breasts, genitals and buttocks blurred) in consecutive episodes broadcast between 16:00 and 21:00; and
- numerous examples of bleeped and masked offensive and most offensive language.
Ofcom considered Rule 1.3 of the Code, which states:
Children must be protected by appropriate scheduling from material that is unsuitable for them.
NBC Universal on behalf of the Licensee apologised for the inappropriate scheduling of this material. It explained that as soon as the Licensee was alerted to Ofcom’s concerns about the content, E Entertainment placed a post-22:00 scheduling restriction on the entire series of Girls of the Playboy Mansion until it was fully re-complied and re-edited where necessary.
Ofcom Decision: Breach of Rule 1.3
In Ofcom’s opinion these episodes of Girls in the Playboy Mansion were clearly unsuitable for children.
They included prolonged sequences of nudity (albeit with breasts, buttocks and genitals blurred), particularly during the consecutive episodes showing the search for the 55th Playboy glamour model. These sequences featured numerous scenes of the models being filmed as they posed and were photographed during casting sessions for Playboy magazine. In addition, there was a sequence of the lingerie party at the Playboy Mansion which featured numerous scantily clad Playboy glamour models posing for the cameras; and shots of a male stripper wearing a thong thrusting his buttocks in the face of the mother of one of Mr Hefner?s girlfriends, with a commentary: she needed a good ass in her face.
The episodes also featured repeated bleeped and masked offensive language throughout, which (taken together with the scenes of nudity) demonstrated in Ofcom’s opinion that these programmes contained themes of an adult nature and were aimed at an adult audience.
Ofcom noted that various episodes were broadcast consecutively at various times during the day on a Bank Holiday during the Christmas period when it was likely that children, some unaccompanied by an adult, might have been watching. Also no announcement whatsoever was made before the start of, or between, any of the programmes to warn viewers in advance about their content. In Ofcom’s view this material was clearly not scheduled appropriately.
These broadcasts were therefore in breach of Rule 1.3.
Ofcom recently found that on two separate occasions in September 2011 the Licensee broadcast programmes that breached Section One of the Code3 . In the second of the two recorded breaches in Bulletin 195, Ofcom stated that it had put E Entertainment on notice that it is particularly concerned about the Licensee’s compliance procedures and will proceed to consider further regulatory action should any similar incidents occur. Ofcom therefore puts the Licensee on notice that we will consider this breach for the imposition of a statutory sanction.