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Many former Playboy bunnies have spoken out against the abuses they experienced in A&E's newest documentary.

A&E's newest documentary is a ten part series titled Secrets of Playboy.


It looks into the notorious founder of Playboy, Hugh Hefner, and the empire he created. It features interviews from past staff and even girlfriends, all of whom are opening up about the humiliation they endured while working for Playboy.

Several past "bunnies" have spoken out about their treatment while under Hefner, claiming that they were subjected to monthly weigh-ins, where their weights were displayed next to the scale for everyone to see.

Suzanne Charneski, who worked at the New Jersey Playboy Club from 1979 to 1982, claims the iconic costume of fishnets and a leotard actually causes physical harm. She explains,

"The costume has 18 metal stays in, so it took two people to put it on — you would have to hold it in the front and someone would zip it up the back. If you gained five pounds [with] those 18 metal stays, you couldn't breathe. Literally."

PJ Masten, who worked for Playboy for ten years from 1972 to 1982, became a "Bunny Mother" in 1975. She outlined the horrific hiring process at Playboy, stating,

"We had to evaluate them on their appearance, and we had a guideline that all Bunny Mothers were given: [no] crepey skin, sagging breasts, bags under their eyes, crooked teeth, some really nasty descriptions. It was heartbreaking to me and I just I couldn't do it. I couldn't do it. I rebelled against it. I didn't check off if they had crepey skin, or if they had saggy breasts, you couldn't tell anyhow, I don't want to fire somebody for image — that stays with you for the rest of your life, that's a terrible thing."

She elaborated,

"I think that was part of it — to humiliate these girls. If you didn't get [your weight] down for next month, you were suspended until you got your weight down. A lot of girls had kidney infections 'cause you were cinched in. We used to go into the ladies room and take our shoes off, which were encrusted with blood, and stick them in the toilet bowl and keep flushing it with, like, a whirlpool to get the swelling down, hoping that your shoes could fit back on."

Suzanne Singer, who also worked as a "bunny", reflects on how times have changed, and just how such abuses were allowed to continue.

"Sitting here in 2021, I can see where many people would have thought that this was not how to treat women by saying, 'Well, if your image changes, you're outta here' — and I understand that. But at the time, the way we were raised and the times that we were raised in, we didn't think anything about it because we didn't know any different. And that's kind of sad."

Secrets of Playboy episodes air every Monday on A&E and Hulu.

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