The deception was also extremely profitable; Hefner became a multimillionaire along the way.
He did not coin the phrase “the male gaze” (credit for that goes to a feminist film critic) but he certainly embodied the aesthetic notion that images of women — and women themselves — exist to please men.“Playboy,” he once said, “treats women — and men, too, for that matter — as sexual beings, not as sexual objects.
Anyway, I’d come to the mansion to interview Wendy Hamilton, a 23-year-old from Detroit who had been selected to be Playboy magazine’s Miss December 1991.
I was told by the magazine people that I was the first reporter they’d ever allowed to witness a centerfold shoot, which I had done some days earlier in the studios of the Playboy building on Sunset Boulevard.
It was the least sexy photo shoot I’d ever seen, but it was the culmination of a girlhood dream for Hamilton. Their fantasies about male attention, self-esteem and success.
The board of the studio Weinstein co-founded fired him shortly after allegations of sexual assault and harassment were reported in the New York Times earlier this month.
The studio, which could face bankruptcy, is also being investigated New York Attorney General for possible civil rights violations.