GLAAD President Responds to Hugh Hefner Media Coverage, Calls Playboy Founder a "Misogynist"

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GLAAD president Sarah Kate Ellis and Hugh Hefner

"It's alarming how media is attempting to paint Hugh Hefner as a pioneer or social justice activist," the organization's president and CEO said in a statement.

GLAAD's chief showed her disappointment with the media coverage over Hugh Hefner's passing in a scathing statement Thursday amid a flood of fond remembrances for the Playboy founder, who died on Sept. 27.

Organization president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis criticized the coverage of Hefner, calling him a "misogynist" who caused "irreparable damage to women's rights" in a message posted to Twitter the following morning.

"It's alarming how media is attempting to paint Hugh Hefner as a pioneer or social justice activist, because nothing could be further from reality," Ellis said. "Hefner was a not a visionary. He was a misogynist who built an empire on sexualizing women and mainstreaming stereotypes that caused irreparable damage to women's rights and our entire culture."

Hefner passed away of natural causes at the age of 91 on Wednesday at the Playboy Mansion in L.A. 

For decades, he ran the media empire that started with the infamous magazine and launched TV projects including the '50s and '60s' Playboy's Penthouse and Playboy After Dark. Both shows cemented his reputation as a leader and icon in the sexual revolution. 

The shows also promoted what came to be known as the “Playboy Philosophy,” which featured politically liberal sensibilities, nonconformity and personal freedom.

"My father lived an exceptional and impactful life as a media and cultural pioneer and a leading voice behind some of the most significant social and cultural movements of our time in advocating free speech, civil rights and sexual freedom," Hefner's son, Cooper Hefner, chief creative officer of Playboy Enterprises, said Wednesday in a statement.