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A television series that depicts a day spa's therapists working as prostitutes in their massage session rooms is scheduled to debut on Lifetime in April—and massage therapists have initiated a protest in response.
"The Client List" is about a housewife deserted by her husband who takes a job "at a seemingly traditional day spa in a neighboring town," according to Lifetime's website for the show, but finds that "other services" are also offered by the spa's therapists. "The series will follow Riley as she delicately balances a moral conflict between two starkly different lives," the website states, "one as a single mother in a conservative town struggling to provide for her family and the other as a savvy and ambitious businesswoman working with a raucous, sexy and unpredictable group of women."
In a promotional video for the program, star Jennifer Love Hewitt is shown surrounded by men wearing towels around their waists and then dropping their towels; later Love Hewitt says in describing the series, "hot girls in lingerie is always a good starter [and] the men
The promo also shows Love Hewitt standing next to a massage table wearing a white blouse unbuttoned in front to reveal her black bra.
The American Massage Therapy Association recently posted a statement to its website reading in part, "AMTA sent a communication to the President and CEO of the A&E Network, copying other executives for the company that owns Lifetime, about the implications for massage therapists and the profession. The association will be monitoring their response and will consider other action to emphasize the importance of respecting the professionalism of massage therapists."
Social networking company Wellx has launched a petition protesting the series, titled "Clip the Client List! Stop the degradation of professional massage therapists," posted to the petition site (www.thepetitionsite.com).
Lifetime's phone numbers are (310) 556-7500 (Los Angeles, California); (312) 464-1991 (Chicago, Illinois); and (212) 424-7000 (New York, New York).