Transcript for Hugh Hefner's controversial legacy with Playboy magazine
Turning to Hugh Hefner as people remember the playboy founder we're taking a closer look at the magazine and brand he created held by some as ground breaking and others as sexist. Let's go to Chris konlly in los Angeles. As much as Hugh Hefner ignited a sexual revolution with the founding of playboy he remained a controversial figure. Reporter: From the moment Hugh Hefner published the first issue of playboy in 1953 the debate raged. Did his magazine celebrate women or exploit them? The playboy playmate and the bunny became mainstream 'ro tick ideals for het ro sexual men making Hefner a critic from people on the right and left. Hugh Hefner is my enemy. The day you're willing to come out here with a cotton tail attached to your rear end. Reporter: Such high profile stars and scores more would be nude in its pages amid a range of reactions after the fact. Cindy Crawford recalled her playboy posing to W. It was risky models of my statue weren't doing playboy. I wanted to be part of the playboy family. What if olive comes to you and says he wants to post for playboy? I wouldn't let her. Gloria stein him and the editor of Ms. Would debate this issue. There is the pursuer and the pursued. That's just not true. It is the attraction. It's not true. It's an old fashioned point of view. Reporter: Hefner never backed down that he played a part of unshack ling notions about sex. I believe that embracing sexuality is part of what it means to be free. He freed the male libido. Chris, he was -- Hefner was a polarizing figure. Some say HEFD an advocate for equal rights. Others say he took advantage of women in Hollywood. How do you think people will remember him? I would like to hear a wide variety of voices on that in days to come. Founding playboy was a rebellious act. The magazine was so successful, it was a mainstream institution like a beer company. It struggled to adapt to change, that change was the women's movement. We 'hear many opinions over the days ahead. Many people will say we just
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.