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When my thoughts turn to women being fed into grinders, light comedy is not the first thing that leaps to mind. See the two images below: The first, a print ad currently appearing in various national magazines, is part of HBO’s marketing campaign for The Comeback, Lisa Kudrow’s mock-reality-show sitcom, which debuts on June 5. The second is Hustler‘s notorious June 1978 meat grinder cover, a major entry in the pantheon of misogynist iconography. Were the people in HBO’s marketing department actually unaware of this visual echo? Hustler has basically owned the woman-in-a-meat-grinder concept for the last 27 years; did the people at HBO think they could steal the concept and rehabilitate it with help from a cute and wacky sitcom actress? I’m guessing the Hustler connection never even occurred to them. But who knows.

The Comeback

Hustler, June 1978