Playboy Stirs Up Controversy on UT Campus

Knoxville (WVLT) - A little bit of controversy has set up shop near UT Campus. Photographers and staff from Playboy are here for the next two days recruiting UT students for an upcoming girls of the SEC issue.

Volunteer TV's Stacy McCloud has more on how the interviews and upcoming photo shoots are settling with East Tennesseans.

Come October, it's football time in Tennessee!! But some University of Tennessee co-eds may be more focused on a magazine rather than the game.

"This is the annual college girl pictorial, and we're doing the Girls of the SEC" Playboy photographer George Georgiou said.

Three Playboy photo crews are spread out at every SEC school, interviewing college girls to see who will make the cut and appear in an upcoming issue.

"She is my best friend from the first day I stepped foot on campus, and we thought it would be a great opportunity to come together," UT sophomore Tera Giese said.

Roommates Tera Giese and Marita Warren are two of the UT hopefuls. They're up against about 30 girls Playboy expects to interview in Knoxville over the next two days.

"I just thought it would be fun, and the magazine is playful, but tasteful so I thought it would be a great opportunity," Giese said.

Other students have a much different opinion. Bridgette Orten says Playboy recruiting students on campus is anything but great. She says it's an embarrassment to women and our community.

"They are saying if you are sexy, that is the only reason we would want you on our magazine, that is all that counts, and that is not true," Orten said.

Playboy says criticism isn't something they've seen a lot of during their visit to the south, but they have a simple message for those who don't want them here.

"If you don't like what you are doing, don't pay attention to it," Georgiou said.

Whether vocalized or not, there will certainly be opinions expressed while they are recruiting in Knoxville, and even more so when the issue hits stands in October.

"I've got to represent Tennessee. Show everybody the cute girls from down south," Giese said.

"Playboy objectifies girls and forces them to count on their sexuality to be desired" Orten said.

Two to three girls from each SEC school will be picked for the issue.
This is not an event the University of Tennessee is endorsing. All interviews are conducted off campus.

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