A lot of people are pretty upset with DirecTV right now. Yesterday, news broke that the TV provider is currently having some major problems renegotiating with AMC, leading to the cable network running ads stating subscribers would soon be losing The Walking Dead. (Yeah, I’d be mad about losing The Walking Dead, too.) Then, on Tuesday it was revealed that a whole separate group of people have rallied to complain about the service’s ads, one of which features Rob Lowe mocking people who can’t urinate in public.
You know the commercial I am talking about. In it, Rob Lowe stars as himself alongside a “painfully awkward” version of himself. The joke is that "normal" Rob Lowe has DirecTV while "painfully awkward" Lowe subscribes to cable. In the commercial the group is up in arms over, the painfully awkward version of Lowe looks creepy in a bathroom, stating “Fact: I can't go with other people in the room," while normal Rob Lowe goes about his daily activities. You can check it out, below.
For those of you who are less in the know, having trouble urinating in public is an actual problem. In fact, it even has a name, shy bladder syndrome, and the CEO of the International Paruresis Association says that nearly 7% of the American population suffers from the issue. The AP is reporting that the group would not have a problem with a joke about the disease, but they say DirecTV is taking things a little too far with the commercial, making the dude look like "a loser."
DirecTV is pulling another AMC with this issue, refusing to back down. DirecTV spokesperson Darris Gringeri says they will continue to run the hugely popular “painfully awkward” Rob Lowe commercials for all of the TV watchers who understand that the commercials are meant to be cheeky and fantastical.
"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.”
So, if you have the commercials and suffer from shy bladder syndrome, you’re just going to have to deal with the joke, no matter how distasteful you might feel it is. On the bright side, at least you’ll still have episodes of The Walking Dead to look forward to. That is, provided you aren’t actually a DirecTV customer, too.