Not bothered about bunnies

June 10, 2011, 12:02 AM GMT+0

Legendary lothario Hugh Hefner has reopened the Playboy Club London thirty years after the original closed in a move which has generated some controversy, but our poll in the run up to its opening revealed that the majority of Brits are decidedly indifferent to the club’s return.

Despite protests in the wake of its opening, more than three in five polled claimed to neither approve nor disapprove of the reopening of the Playboy Club, whilst just one in ten people condemned its renewed presence in London.

  • 61% of British adults neither disapprove nor approve of the opening of the Playboy Club London
  • While just 10% disapproved of the return of the establishment which has come in for criticism for being demeaning to women
  • In contrast, a quarter of those asked (25%) approved of its reopening
  • Women were more ambivalent then men, with 65% saying they ‘neither approve nor disapprove’ compared to 58% of men

'Trained croupiers'

The new Playboy London Club has been criticised for ‘dehumanising’ women, although a spokesperson has said that there is no nudity at the club and that ‘the Bunnies are trained croupiers’ and are ‘in no respect related to any strip clubs or lap dancing joints.’ The women who work at the club, called ‘bunnies’ by the management, wear the traditional and instantly recognisable uniform of a leotard, bunny ears and a bunny tail.


While our poll discovered that most Brits are unconcerned about the return of the club, vocal groups have shown that not all share this apathy, especially not women's rights groups UK Feminista and Object, who have launched a campaign called 'Eff Off Hef' in protest at the club’s opening, and what they see as the condoning of an industry ‘that exploits women’. Anna van Heeswijk, campaigns manager for Object, said: ‘The Playboy Club degrades women as fluffy animals who are marketed as sexual playthings for wealthy men’.

And although it hasn’t inspired strong opinion in the majority of those surveyed, the club opening appears to have brought new focus to debates surrounding modern feminism. While Heeswijk believes that the club is ‘offering men a chance to step back in time to a time where men could be dominant and women are subservient’, others see the club as empowering for women, while croupier bunny Sara told the BBC that it was the idea of ‘1960s glamour’ that initially attracted her to the job.