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Playboy Ending Ties to Portugal Edition After Jesus Cover

Playboy is pulling the plug on its Portugal edition after the July issue’s cover showed Jesus and a topless woman on a bed.

Playboy Enterprises Inc. said its Portuguese partner, Frestacom-Lisbon Media Publishing, breached the licensing agreement by not letting Playboy see the cover before publication.

“We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal,” Playboy spokeswoman Theresa Hennessey told AOL News in an e-mail.

“It is a shocking breach of our standards, and we would not have allowed it to be published if we had seen it in advance.”

The Portuguese edition of Playboy is in hot water for publishing a July cover featuring Jesus and a naked woman. Christ also appears with several different topless women within the pages of the magazine.

AOL News was unable to reach Frestacom for comment. Its phone line was repeatedly busy and company officials did not return an e-mail request for comment.

The magazine contained pictures of Christ looking at two seminude women who are about to kiss, as well as one of him standing beside a topless woman on the street, according to a posting on Gawker.

Gawker said the pictures were meant as a tribute to Jose Saramago, the Portuguese Nobel Prize-winning novelist who died last month. Saramago’s novel “The Gospel According to Jesus Christ” portrayed Jesus as a deeply flawed and human individual.

Saramago tackled religious themes throughout his career with books such as “Land of Sin.” In 1992, the then-Portuguese minister of culture opposed his nomination for the European Literary Prize, while the Vatican condemned him as “an unreconstructed communist.”

Playboy has 26 international editions, including Portugal’s. International publishers agree to use the Playboy format, but publish magazines “that reflect both the standards and culture of their own country, as well as our own standards,” Hennessey wrote.

from www.dailymail.co.uk – Playboy magazine is to pull the plug on its Portuguese edition after it ran a photo shoot featuring Jesus Christ among topless models.

The spread was ostensibly a tribute to Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago’s The Gospel According to Jesus Christ, but Hugh Hefner’s headquarters have reacted with outrage.

The pictures show a long-haired, glowing Jesus watching two models in a lesbian clinch, standing next to a prostitute and looking over the shoulder of a woman reading a book.

A final, heavily tattooed woman, appears to have died in his arms.

Theresa Hennessy, Playboy Enterprises vice president of public relations told the Mail Online: ‘We did not see or approve the cover and pictorial in the July issue of Playboy Portugal.

‘It is a shocking breach of our standards and we would have not allowed it to be published if we had seen it in advance.

‘We are in the process of terminating our agreement with the Portuguese publisher.’

Saramago’s novel is a fictional re-telling of Christ’s life, depicting him as a flawed, human character.

It generated controversy among the Roman Catholic Church, who accused Saramago of depicting a ‘substantially anti-religious vision.’

However, other critics have praised it as a ‘deeply philosophical, provocative and compelling work.’

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