In response to comments about massage therapists on the June 24, 2010 program The View, the next day AMTA sent the following statement from President Kathleen Miller-Read to the producers of the show:
June 25, 2010
To the Producers of The View
On behalf of the 57,000 members of the American Massage Therapy Association and the thousands of other professional massage therapists in the U.S., I want to express great concern about how our profession was portrayed on your June 24 show. While we understand the nature of The View, the claims regarding former Vice President Al Gore were not a justification for the participants to so consistently state that massage is usually about sex or that massage therapists are prostitutes.
The American Massage Therapy Association was founded in 1943 and we and our members strive to ensure that the profession is respected and the public can benefit from the real health benefits of massage therapy. Below is our public statement on professional respect. We bring this statement to your attention and ask that you consider the more than 100,000 massage therapists who were portrayed negatively with blanket negative characterizations on your program.
Massage Therapists Deserve Professional Respect
The practice of massage therapy is focused on health and wellness. It can help alleviate the effects of a broad range of health conditions, including pain, stress and muscle injury.
The growing popularity of massage therapy in recent years has attracted greater attention to the profession and its practitioners by the media and the public. While this increased attention has resulted in a wider recognition of the many benefits of massage, occasionally some public figures attempt to link the practice of massage therapy to sexual activity. Perpetuating this view not only demeans the profession of massage therapy, but also can threaten the physical safety of massage practitioners when an assumption is made that someone can demand sex from them.
AMTA and its members understand good-natured humor, but call on the media and public figures to not allow their comments to denigrate the massage therapy profession, stereotype massage therapists, or threaten their safety. Public comments about the profession should never imply an expectation of or a connection with sexual activity.
Massage therapists are trained professionals who have completed specialized education in their field. Those who belong to the American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA), for example, have demonstrated a level of skill and knowledge through education and testing, adhere to a code of ethics and must meet continuing education requirements to retain membership.