HBO Consults Larry Flynt for New Marketing Campaign

May 27, 2005

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