By RYAN GORMAN
Shy bladder advocates are protesting a DirecTV ad featuring a "painfully awkward" Rob Lowe who can't use public restrooms.
The advocates are calling for the nationally airing television ad starring the actor to be pulled off the air, but the satellite provider has staunchly refused.
Lowe is currently appearing in a series of ads for DirecTv nudging people to drop cable for satellite television.
A suave-looking, hip Lowe talks up the advantages of satellite while a shy, nerdy Lowe wearing a fanny pack admits to having cable.
Lowe states a number of "facts" about satellite while joking about how cable "makes you wait."
Painfully awkward Lowe stands anxiously in his home's window while waiting: "I hope it's not a girl – or a guy."
He then is shown in a public restroom struggling to deal with other people standing nearby.
"Fact: I can't go with other people in the room," he says in a toothy voice.
Steve Soifer, CEO of the International Paruresis Association, claimed to the Associated Press that the ad is in "poor taste" and "ridicules a serious problem" experienced by as much as seven percent of Americans.
"We don't mind if people have a little fun with it," said Soifer, also 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, that this guy is a loser for having a problem.
"What if he didn't have a leg or an arm?" he continued. "Are you going to make fun of them?"
DirecTV immediately shot down the request in comments to the AP.
"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 ad are not based in reality," said a spokesperson for the satellite provider.
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