Unfazed by criticism since he appeared on the cover of Playboy, Filipino beauty influencer Bretman Rock posted more photos from the shoot on Instagram Tuesday, October 5, along with a message to outraged male fans of the long-running magazine.
"Da Baddest Bunny. Posting to piss off more straight men. If you’re pissed [because] I turn you on then say that, geez," he wrote.
Bretman, 23, made history as the first openly gay man to appear on the cover of Playboy since it was launched in 1953. He follows in the footsteps of Puerto Rican trap artist Bad Bunny, who in July became the first male cover star of the magazine besides its late founder, Hugh Hefner.
"For Playboy to have a male on the cover is a huge deal for the LGBT community, for my brown people community, and it's all so surreal," Bretman was quoted as saying on Playboy's social media pages.
“A total ‘is this even f------- happening right now?’ type of vibe. And I’m so pretty."
Bretman has previously collaborated with Playboy on limited edition graphic T-shirts to celebrate Pride Month, but it is the first time that he posed for the iconic magazine. In the digital cover, taken by photographer Brian Ziff, he is featured wearing Playboy's famed Bunny ears, necktie, and cuffs, in addition to a black corset, stockings, and platform boots. He was also photographed wearing black tights, leather gloves, and a huge ring on his left finger in another set of photos.
Meanwhile, Playboy, which went digital in 2020 after 66 years, defended its decision to feature Bretman on its latest cover.
In a series of tweets on Tuesday, October 5, the magazine said: "Last week, we released our first-ever cover with an openly gay model, Bretman Rock. Since posting, we've received a lot of great comments, but far too many offensive ones as well.
"These are the same kind of comments Playboy received when we put Darine Stern, an African American woman, on the cover in 1971, when we featured transgender model Tula Cossey in 1991 and when we fought for abortion rights before Roe v. Wade and cannabis law reform in the 1970s.
"Standing for freedom and equality is in the DNA of this brand. Today, Playboy is much more than a magazine. Our digital covers are creative snapshots that drive and reflect the current dialogue around pleasure, sexuality, equality and culture.
"If a gay man feels sexy in a bunny costume, an iconic symbol of sexiness, why shouldn’t he be able to wear it proudly?
"Serving as a platform for representation and freedom of expression is and will always be what Playboy stands for."
Since gaining worldwide fame for his funny videos on Vine and makeup tutorials on YouTube, Bretman — who was born and raised in Cagayan but is now based in Hawaii with his Filipina mother — has released his own makeup line, and starred in his own MTV reality show, gained nearly 18 million followers on Instagram.