That’s right: Playboy. The film’s main character, E.B., an animated bunny with a delightful British accent, leaves home for Los Angeles. He makes his first stop at, of all places, the Playboy Mansion. Here’s what the fine reviewers at PluggedInOnline.com said about the scene:
The first place E.B. goes after arriving in L.A. is the Playboy Mansion, because he’s attracted to the magazine’s famous bunny logo on a map of the vicinity. Hugh Hefner tells him via a speaker at the gate that he’s only interested in “sexy bunnies,” to which E.B. replies that he is a bunny and is “incredibly sexy.” A bit later, three female Pink Beret bunnies, who are pursuing E.B., have a very brief conversation with Hef as well.
The reference to Playboy, Hef’s distinctive voice, and the notion of “sexy bunnies” will likely be lost on the youngest viewers, but I lament what will happen when naive minds return home and Google “sexy bunnies” without their parent’s knowledge.
Pornography and Children
For concerned parents, this should be a reminder that “PG” does not mean “Pretty Good.” (In this case it should stand for “Positively Gross.”) Be aware of these things before you take your kids to see a movie.
As far as Playboy is concerned, we probably shouldn’t be too surprised about their appearance in a children’s film. Remember when they targeted “younger readers” by putting Marge Simpson on the cover of the magazine back in 2009? That’s just the beginning.
Playboy has had many visual “child magnets” on the pages of its magazines. According to one study, a minimum of 30% of Playboy‘s cartoons and illustrations hold special appeal for children. In 1979 psychologist Aaron Hass said Playboy was often used by juveniles as a source of sex education.
But the plot thickens…
Back in 1987 the U.S. Department of Justice funded a study examining what was then the trifecta of the porn empire—Playboy, Penthouse, and Hustler—to see how many times sexual images of children were used. After examining over 30 years of material, in Playboy alone they found over 3,000 images associated with children, and 415 of those images depicted children having sex with adults. Almost all the depictions of child sexual abuse portrayed the child as unharmed or even benefiting from the activity.
Think about it: In 1980s, about 25% of the adult male population in America was consuming material that was designed, in part, to depict child sexuality as normal and desirable.
I guess we shouldn’t be surprised to find Hefner in a children’s film after all.