A show with a name like “Playboy Club” is sure to draw criticism from feminist groups and TV censors, but Naturi Naughton said there’s nothing degrading about the new NBC series.
“My main thing is people who may be thinking that, I think it’s a misconception. This is not Playboy the magazine. This is a very sophisticated, sexy and classy place,” Naturi told Sister 2 Sister.
The series premieres tonight on NBC and from the list of actors and guest performers, from legend Jenifer Lewis to artist Raphael Saadiq, it promises to be more than just women in tight one-piece get-ups flirting with men.
“It’s about women and entertainment,” according to Naturi, who said the ‘60s-era drama also touches on a “wide range of what women went through” during that time, including racism and feminism.
Naturi, who first played a Bunny on an episode of AMC’s “Mad Men,” admires the gumption of her “Playboy Club” character, Brenda.
“She wants to be the first Black centerfold. Unfortunately, beauty at that time was only a certain look and color. She believes she’s just as beautiful and talented. She goes through dealing with some things, showing that the world is not ready for her, but she still doesn’t give up her dream or ambition. When she’s knocked down, she’s still going to fight for what she believes,” said Naturi, who assures the show definitely doesn’t overly sexualize women.
“That’s not what this show is all about,” she said, adding that the series’ critics will likely be “pleasantly surprised” when they finally tune in for the show. “It’s nothing like you’d imagine.”
—Tracy L. Scott
Get more on Naturi Naughton in the November 2011 issue of Sister 2 Sister.