At age 25, Cooper Hefner has assumed creative control over Playboy, the iconic brand his father Hugh Hefner launched 64 years ago — and he has plenty of ideas for the magazine’s future.
For starters, Hefner successfully brought back nudity to the men’s lifestyle publication earlier this year after it stopped featuring nude pictorials in 2015.
“There was a lack of understanding of who we are,” he told The Hollywood Reporter about the decision previously made by then-CEO Scott Flanders to remove nudity in hopes of becoming more mainstream. “Nudity hadn’t been the problem — it was how it’d been presented.”
But one person readers won’t see in the magazine anytime soon is President Donald Trump. The 71-year-old was previously interviewed by Playboy in 1990. And while Trump has great respect for Cooper's father, the feeling doesn’t seem to be mutual.
“We don’t respect the guy,” said Cooper. “There’s a personal embarrassment because Trump is somebody who has been on our cover.”
Cooper even noted that he considered running for office, but believed his affiliation with an adult entertainment company would make him unelectable. However, he did join the California State Military Reserve in January. Hugh served two years in the U.S. Army towards the end of World War II.
“I’m a liberal, and I have a real issue with the conservative side feeling like they own the military,” he explained.
Another thing fans won’t see again is the hit reality TV series “The Girls Next Door,” which aired on E! from 2005 until 2010. Cooper insisted the series was “demeaning” and damaged the company’s reputation.
“[The show] collected a young audience, but didn’t do a good job of conveying how Playboy is both playful and sophisticated,” he explained.
These days, Cooper is determined to make Playboy thrive for a new generation of readers. Hugh, now 91, has kept himself out of the public eye as he deals with back woes. He also doesn’t want to be photographed strolling with his walker or fiddling with hearing aids.
Still Hugh is actively involved in sharing periodic notes to his son about the magazine.
“It’s tough to watch him struggle, but I’m just happy it’s physical and not mental,” added Cooper.
Playboy model Bridget Marquardt, who was once the girlfriend of Hugh and one of the stars of “The Girls Next Door,” told Australia’s “The Morning Show” in July that she hasn’t heard from her ex in years.
The Playboy founder sees things differently.
“To be frank with you, this is a bit silly,” a rep for Hugh told Fox News at the time. “Hef holds nothing, but the fondest memories of his time spent with Bridget and he continues to wish her all the best in her new life.”