1. Caleb says

    I’d be curious to see what the reactions would have been had this been filmed in a coffee shop in Alabama.

  2. tom says

    I hate this show. It upsets me just to know that it is on the air. I think that it is cruel and should be illegal to inflict emotional and physical stress on unsuspecting people for what is, frankly, one’s entertainment. The producers must have been the kind of boys who would pull wings off of flies and then watch the poor flies struggle.

    The by-standers, whether they get involved or not, are put in a very difficult and stressful situation and then are judged by condescending couch potatoes as to whether they responded appropriately. Does it concern the producers that they may be inflicting emotional pain on the people they choose not to follow?

    I watched about half a minute of this episode before I had to turn it off. As you can tell, I am still upset about it.

  3. John B. says

    I would be so pissed if I was one of the other people there. I would already be angry at the “father” or “mother” for being such assholes but doubt I would get involved–it’s rarely a good idea to get involved in other people’s family matters, especially when they are strangers. At best, one should complain to the manager–it’s his or her job to handle disruptive customers.

    But it would make me even angrier to find out it’s a tv show and its actors disrupting other people’s lunches, that it is all a sham, playing with people’s emotions as some kind of social experiment with hidden cameras watching me and recording my conversations, and then shoving a camera and microphone into my face to ask about my reaction. Aside from the serious issue of involuntary involvement, it’s just plain creepy.

    The ONLY way I might see this as the least bit positive or valuable would be with extensive discussion by psychologists or other professionals about the situations, analyzing the reactions and offering advice on how best to react to a situation like this and how best to help the kid in that situation. So kudos to the unwitting subjects of the experiment who had the courage to speak up, but as presented I don’t see this as anything much more than a staged psychodrama being filmed for the TV audience’s entertainment.

  4. RW says

    Tom, no offense but it seems like you’re as equally condescending and judgmental as the couch potatoes. “The producers must have been the kind of boys who would pull wings off of flies and then watch the poor flies struggle.” Come on, really?

    Not saying it’s not possible, but I would think that if this show was really causing the pain and distress that you allude to, there would be a lot less releases signed and ABC would be getting hit with lawsuits up the yin yang.

  5. Tom Stoppard says

    This made me cry. I’m not going to address the ethics of the tv program, but the fact that those women stood up for the kid in such a strong, articulate way, really gives me hope for American society.

  6. True Words says

    I am OK with this show because there needs to be more dialog in private and sometimes in public. So many people do not have these skills to say what NEEDS to be said; Americans watch a lot of TV and this is helpful to someone, somewhere, then YES it is worth it…

  7. says

    You’d have to literally tackle me to the ground if you want to stop me from getting involved. I believe deeply in my soul that no one should suffer this kind of abuse. And, frankly, when abuse is happening- it SHOULD be everyone’s business.

  8. Scott says

    I think it’s good because it gets the viewers thinking about situations to which they might not otherwise be exposed. Most have no understanding of the unique struggles gay people face. This demonstrates one aspect of parental rejection.

  9. TANK says

    THis is no to catch predator! Bring back perverted justice! This is boring. At least make sure that some of the contestants are armed…and what do they win?

  10. TANK says

    What would you do if…you found a dead hooker in a trashcan? “No…no! NO! He’s having sex with it!”

  11. Clifw says

    Some of their earlier gay themed ones- such as the one with the ‘waiter’ turning on the gay family- I would have got involved with, as the only recriminations will fall on the waiter and the victims are removed from the environment.

    This one, maybe not. If this weren’t a staged scene, nothing a stranger can say to a bigot is going to magically improve matters and, in the immediate future, may make things a lot worse in the child’s home life.

    That said, the ‘you’ve made it our business’ line is a good one. I’d want to offer some kind of reassurance to the kid- but would be very conscious that if I made a scene, I wouldn’t be seeing these guys again, but the kid probably has to go home with his father.

  12. B says

    Clif: Seeing as the son would be getting shit @ home after regardless if someone steps in or not, should be an added reason why you should say something in benefit of the kid. The parent will see that others do not share the same sentiments and the kid will be comforted by the notion that someone cares enough about him, to speak up on his behalf, and maybe in his darkest moments, he will remember that person’s actions. Just saying.

  13. Vince in WeHo says

    I can’t address the ethics either, but this also made me cry. Who knows how people in Alabama would react. I’d be curious, though.

  14. says

    It’s difficult, some people are vocal and some aren’t, but isn’t comforting to know that there is that sort of “heroic” gene just lurking out there? The show is silly and artificial, but still, it’s reminding of the everyday heroes, where even in a moment of getting coffee, there are overriding duties…I don’t know, like I said, it’s a good reminder.

  15. says

    I’m aware it’s entertainment, but I’ve watched a few of these “What Would You Do?” shows, and I think they could have a really positive effect. Most people, myself included, are the type to stand by and wait for someone else to make the first move, but watching these scenarios challenges me to be the type of person who has the bravery to be the first, and perhaps only, person to intervene.

  16. TANK says

    MERICA, RATTIGAN! MUREEKA! There are plenty of real opportunities to challenge the person you are with real tangible benefits to others without having to fake it, rendering the response just as pointless as the program–save, of course, ratings…which is all that matters to this vehicle.

  17. TANK says

    Pretty soon the responses will be just as fake as the shows as people become more and more like laugh tracks…crying? Really? Those that cried because of this disgust me. You disgust me. DIE IN A FIRE!

  18. TJ says

    Ah, Tank. Social science experiments have helped shed light on real behavior, not just what people say they would do. Ethical issues aside: The actors were fake; assuming (granted, a big leap) there is any integrity involved in this production, the responses were genuine. Some, assuming they were genuine, are heartening. Of course, actually having a heart might help one see that.

  19. TANK says

    “Ah, Tank. Social science experiments have helped shed light on real behavior, not just what people say they would do”

    No, stupid! This is made of fail. This isn’t a study that could potentially shed light on how people react to stimuli, for a credible generalization. The trolley experiment this is not, and couldn’t be because of the way it’s constructed (from sample size, to duration).

    This is about entertaining stupid people with “hot button” issues in the name of ratings. Nothing more. I hate you all.

  20. Ryank says

    Is it sad that only the (based on what i saw) women got involved? Why didn’t the guys do anything?

  21. jexer says

    I was sitting in a cafe next to Tank when he let rip with his typical over-reactionary stuff. Fortunately I saw the camera crew’s van outside, so knew my reaction to him would be filmed…

    I stood up, walked over to Tank and made a heroically glorious speech about how out of line his comments were, everyone applauded, I signed consent forms.. but it all ended up on the cutting-room floor.

    Oh well. Maybe next time.

  22. says

    I have a hard time watching these videos. I find myself having to frequently pause them and take a brake. It’s a little unsettling.

  23. Chris says

    There is the perverbial, who are you to tell me how to raise my child.

    It is our culture to not interfere with other people’s parenting or family matters when not asked. It is intrusive, insulting and rude.

    Unless the child is threatened with violence, there really is nothing much that people can do but perhaps offer advice after the fact.

    Making innocent people go through this shit is stupid.

  24. DR says

    This show is getting out of hand.

    When the waiter berated the gay couples in front of their kids, there was recourse: call the manager and complain.

    When the gay kid was being bullied (and acted really poorly, by the way), there was at least some impetus to get involved, to stop a possible assault.

    When the gay couple had PDAs on the street? We’re getting towards “huh?!?” Ok, fine the show wants to gauge how people react to different types of PDAs, but there’s nothig illegal about kissing in public….

    This was pure reality tv porn. It’s no one’s place to get involved in this type of family dispute except to feel holier-than-thou. This one is all about making people feel guilty or overly good about themselves in a situation which they have no business entering. This one was utterly uncalled for.

    “What Would I Do?”

    I’d change the channel if I ever see this show on the air.

  25. darkmoonman says

    Silence = consent

    As for the show, I’m fine with it: it shows how cowardly some folks are.

  26. IndyTown says

    I’d probably say something – just because you wouldn’t want a kid to be taken home and screamed at all night and not realize there are people in this world who would support him

  27. wimsy says

    This new and vicious version of “Candid Camera” could not survive without exhibitionists willing to appear. ABC is desperate to pull out of 3rd (or is it 9th?) place in the ratings. Their programming – sorry, Katie – is a disaster. But using other peoples’ misery as entertainment is TV fare — The Today Show brings the distraught parents of a slaughtered child to their couch, and that insipid woman asks them idiotic questions (“Do you miss him?”), then pretends sympathy, telling them “our thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.” It’s all horseshit intended to make their misery into our entertainment. But they do agree to come to the couch and air their linen, so it’s their own fault, not exploitation.

  28. says

    I very much dislike these shows. I think most people would not get involved in ANY altercation so long as it didn’t get physical. Those of us who are LGBT might have added motivation to get involved with this, but what about if the issue was race or a loud argument between a couple? For me, I’m only going to get involved if it gets physical. I don’t know the whole story and it is none of my business.

  29. just a guy says

    Love these shows. They push us to talk to each other. The country is so divided and our rights are not protected. If we can’t win votes in the Senate, at least we should be winning the commitment of real people, one at a time. Bravo.

  30. says

    As a gay man, I’m just simply outraged that TV pulls this kind of crap. I understand they are/were trying to help, but I’m not sure it did.

    At first I was hoping for something uplifting, but I’m saddened. Really. Maybe the end has a message, but I couldn’t sit through it to find out.