Redbook Article Outrages the Massage Therapy Profession

Redbook magazine published an article titled: I Get Happy-Ending Massages and it Helps My Marriage. This has resulted in a firestorm of comments and outrage in the social media circles across the nation.  The FSMTA sent a letter to the Editor of Redbook expressing our concerns related to the article and its negative impact on our profession.  The FSMTA has requested an apology to our members, as well as our entire profession. Below is a copy of the letter sent and their follow up response.  We have sent a follow up to their reply requesting they further confirm their position.  The FSMTA has also offered to assist them in providing sources for articles which highlight the benefits of massage therapy.  We have also offered to assist them in addressing the PR crisis by distributing any formal apology they provide.  The FSMTA is grateful for the many LMT’s who spoke out on this issue in the social media circles, and directly to the publisher.  We appreciate the work done by other professional organizations in addressing the article such as the ABMP and the AMTA. Working together we can each help to advance the massage therapy profession and the accurate portrayal to the public of the valuable work that each massage therapists provides nationwide.

 

LETTER TO THE REDBOOK EDITOR:

July 7, 2014

Redbook
Attn: Meredith Rollins, Editor-in-Chief
300 West 57th Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10019

Dear Ms. Rollins,

Your recent feature article titled “I Get Happy Ending Massages and it Helps My Marriage” has managed to portray a false and damaging image of the Massage Therapy profession to your nine million readers, and to insult an entire industry of professionals.  Your publication, through the poor decision to publish such an outrageous article, has linked sex and prostitution to Massage Therapy in the minds of your readers. This form of careless media coverage impacts the lives and safety of thousands of hard working men and women who provide therapeutic services as Massage Therapy professionals.

The Florida State Massage Therapy Association represents thousands of these Massage Therapy professionals.  As an organization and a profession we are deeply offended that a publication such as yours would consider this type of article news worthy to publish.  While our organization works to prevent and address major issues such as human trafficking and prostitution, you have chosen to publish an article related to prostitution and done so under the guise of massage therapy.   Your publication added further insult to our profession by linking infidelity with the topic and noted that this has helped the marriage.  Did anyone in your organization give any real thought to the impact of such an article to an entire profession? Obviously they did not.  Did anyone in your organization consider that the same professionals you were deeply offending are consumers and business owners?  Obviously they did not take any of these into consideration.  If they had I’m certain the article would have never been published. Based on the surge of reaction to the article, I’m certain that you have begun to recognize the large number of Massage Therapy professionals that exist across the nation.

Your article has completely undermined and degraded our profession and the valuable and legitimate health services that Massage Therapy professionals provide to the public. Your publication has helped to perpetuate a false stereotype that every Massage Therapists has had to address over the years. It is irresponsible that you would publish an article that promotes illegal activities on at least two levels: first, as a Licensed Massage Therapist, it is illegal in most states to engage a client in sexual activity, and secondly promoting prostitution, which is illegal in every state except a portion of one.   As an organization that has worked since 1939 to promote and protect Massage Therapists and the profession we request a formal public apology to our members and the entire Massage Therapy profession.

We hope that in the future you will publish informative and educational articles related to the true benefits of Massage Therapy.  We would be happy to assist by providing sources for your publication.

Sincerely,

Leiah Carr, President

Florida State Massage Therapy Association

 REDBOOKS RESPONSE:

Dear Leiah,
Thank you for your feedback. While the story was a first-person account of one woman’s experience and was not meant as a reflection on the massage industry or the professionals who work in it, we have chosen to remove it from the site. We are well aware of the valuable, healing work that licensed massage therapists provide.
Sincerely,
The Editors
FSMTA FOLLOWUP:
Thank you for your reply.  While I appreciate your statement and your comment that it was not meant as a reflection on our industry, your article has clearly had a result of doing just that.  With your reply are we to gather that Redbook has no intent to make any form of apology for the impact or in publishing such content which has offended and outraged Massage Therapy professionals nationwide?
We would hope that your company would make such a statement so that we can assist you in calming the storm that is occurring on the social media circles related to the article. We would be glad to share any such statement of this nature with our members and colleagues across the country.
While we understand the legalities of such a matter for a publishing company, we also understand the PR ramifications of not addressing it and allowing the issue to continue to grow.  We would be happy to help you overcome this unfortunate event if you wish the assistance.
We look forward to your reply.

Leiah J. Carr, Executive State President

IF YOU WISH TO COMMENT DIRECT TO REDBOOK:

Should you wish to send your personal comments to the Editor you may do so via email at redbook@hearst.com, if by mail send to:  Redbook
Attn: Meredith Rollins, Editor-in-Chief
300 West 57th Street, 22nd Floor
New York, NY 10019

Close Menu