The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA) announced yesterday it had received a statement from A&E Television Networks’ senior vice president of communications regarding the upcoming Lifetime television series The Client List. (In 2009, A&E merged with Lifetime.)
The series will depict women providing sexual services at a spa. In “The Client List, “Jennifer Love Hewitt plays Riley, a single mother, living in a small Texas town and leading a shocking double life. Her secret would send shockwaves through the community and possibly land her in jail if it was ever exposed,” reads the show’s website. “Riley’s taken a job at a seemingly traditional day spa but soon realizes that the parlor offers a little more than just massage therapy.”
The executive’s statement read, in part, “The Client List is not intended to depict any specific spa or massage entity, nor in any way demean or disparage the therapeutic massage profession and its benefits and contributions to the health and wellness industry.”
A message on AMTA’s website states, in part, “AMTA has discussed the concerns of massage therapists about the upcoming TV series, The Client List … AMTA was assured that they have no intention of offending massage therapists. The association will monitor the series and communicate directly to their top executives if there are more concerns when the series is aired.”
On Feb. 13 MASSAGE Magazine reported on a groundswell of protest within the massage profession in response to the series. Part of that protest includes a petition titled “Clip the Client List! Stop the denigration of professional massage therapists,” which more than 3,600 people have signed.