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Playboy publishes last-ever print edition after announcing Jameela Jamil as guest editor, so we guess feminism won?

Reiss Smith March 20, 2020
Jameela Jamil in an oversized white suit and a 2018 Playboy magazine cover

Jameela Jamil's guest-edited issue of Playboy will be its last-ever. (Playboy/Getty)

Playboy has said it will close its print magazine due to coronavirus, meaning an edition guest-edited by Jameela Jamil will be its last to hit newsstands.

Playboy announced it will become a digital-only publication following the release of its new spring issue, guest-edited by feminist activist Jameela Jamil.

Chief executive Ben Kohn said that Playboy had already begun discussing killing off its print magazine before the pandemic hit, but the conversation was “accelerated” due to current events.

“Last week, as the disruption of the coronavirus pandemic to content production and the supply chain became clearer and clearer, we were forced to accelerate a conversation we’ve been having internally: the question of how to transform our US print product to better suit what consumers want today,” Kohn wrote on Medium.

Moving forward, all of its content will be released online, with special print offerings “in a variety of new forms”.

Jameela Jamil ‘shot like a man’ by Playboy.

The snap decision means that Playboy’s final issue will be its spring 2020 “Speech Issue”, guest-edited by Jamil.

The Good Place actor appears in her own spread in the magazine, and commissioned a series of diverse interviews with “proper storytellers and people who are looking to use everything they have to change a global conversation”.

She revealed on Twitter that she only agreed to work with the publication after they allowed her to be photographed “like a man”.

“No retouching, hi res, loose, comfortable clothes and completely unsexualised,” she wrote. “I felt extremely free.”

In a video shared to Playboy’s Instagram, she added: “Previously I’d written Playboy off as a brand that I wouldn’t necessarily be affiliated with.”

She praised the magazine for taking its “giant platform and use it to start important conversations”, adding: “I believe in progress, not perfection.”

Though Playboy has historically been considered problematic due to the way it sexualises women for the male gaze, its founder Hugh Heffner was an early supporter of LGBT+ and reproductive rights.

In recent years the magazine has revamped its content, giving trans women representation within its pages and reimagining its signature bunny ears to support the fight against so-called traumatising conversion therapy.

More: Coronavirus, Hugh Heffner, Jameela Jamil, Playboy

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