People are starting to make social rights issues just for the sake of making them.
Recently, DirecTV started airing a commercial that features Rob Lowe playing two different characters. The first, he plays a handsome Rob Lowe in a fine suit who claims to be a DirecTV customer. The second, he plays a goofy-looking Rob Lowe with a fanny pack and his hair parted in the middle. While the two stand at the urinal, Cool Rob Lowe urinates without a problem, while the painfully awkward Rob Lowe is unable to pee because he’s nervous.
Basically, the advertisement is saying DirecTV has great service, and cable makes subscribers wait for their programming.
“Fact: I can’t go with other people in the room,” said awkward Rob Lowe, standing at the urinal.
It was this line that made Steve Soifer, CEO of International Paruresis Association, upset. The association whose primary function is a little unknown at this time estimates that around 7% of Americans have some form of “shy bladder syndrome.”
“We don’t mind if people have a little fun with it,” said Soifer, a social work professor at the University of Memphis. “It’s a situation that a lot of people don’t understand. In this particular case, the portrayal is making it look ridiculous, and that this guy is a loser for having a problem.
“What if he didn’t have a leg or an arm?” he said. “Are you going to make fun of them?”
That’s right. He just compared being unable to pee beside another man at the urinal to being an amputee.
Darris Gringeri, spokesman for DirecTV responded to the complaints made by Soifer by saying they will not pull the advertisement.
“The ads will continue to run for the vast majority of viewers who have told us they enjoy the spots and understand that, like all of our commercials, they take place in a fantasy world and are not based in reality,” Gringeri said.
Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble urinating in front of another person, just hold your breathe or do math equations in your head. It’ll help relax you.