Now that outrage is quickly replacing porn as the Internet’s most valuable export, it should come as no surprise that not only is there a shy bladder community, but that it is upset with Rob Lowe right now. The offending item is a commercial Lowe recently did for DirecTV in which he plays two characters: Suave ubermensch Rob Lowe, drawing both men and women into his charismatic, incredible-smelling orbit with his piercing baby blues and DirecTV subscription, and “painfully awkward” cable subscriber Rob Lowe, who wears a fanny pack on his side like some kind of idiot and sports an Astro Boy-cosplaying-as-Wolverine hairdo.
At the end of the commercial, worthless piece of cable-loving human trash Rob Lowe says he “can’t go with other people in the room,” a line that prompted a statement from the head of the International Paruresis Association (that’s the shy bladder people). Steve Soifer contends that while “we don’t mind if people have a little fun with it,” the way Lowe’s character is framed in the ad mocks a serious problem experienced by 7 percent of the American population, usually but not exclusively at rest stops. “What if he didn’t have a leg or an arm?” Soifer asks. “Are you going to make fun of them?”
To answer Mr. Soifer’s question: Yes, if it helped sell DirecTV subscriptions. Speaking of, DirecTV spokesman Darris Gringeri says the ad will not be pulled and that “the vast majority of viewers…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.” Maybe for you, Mr. Fanny-pack-in-the-front.