Will strangers intervene when a man is about to take advantage of a seemingly drunk woman? How will people react when young shoppers are followed and harassed by the proprietors of a chic clothing boutique – simply because of their race? Will anyone stop a bike thief? Using hidden cameras, “What Would You Do?” sets up everyday scenarios and then captures people’s reactions. Whether people are compelled to act or mind their own business, John Quiñones reports on their split-second and often surprising decision-making process, on the Season Premiere of “Primetime: What Would You Do?,” FRIDAY, MAY 7 (9:00-10:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
This series shows what people actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values. Friday’s scenarios include:
THE GIRL WHO HAD TOO MUCH: How will people react when they witness a young woman – helplessly intoxicated at a bar – and a male stranger who approaches and tries to take her home? Does it make a difference if the girl is dressed provocatively? Do people try and help the young woman or do they turn the other way?
BIKE THEFT: What happens when a thief snatches a bike in broad daylight in a crowded park? To find out, “What Would You Do?” set loose a trio of thieves — white, black and female – armed with bolt-cutters, hacksaws and a fierce-looking electrical grinder, in full public view. The reaction to the white thief and the black thief is as different as night and day. And what happens when the culprit is a sexy young woman in shorts and a tank top? Well, you won’t believe it.
LOTTO: During these troubled economic times, more and more people are playing the Lotto. What happens when a store clerk turns out to be a crook and tries to pocket the winning ticket of his customers? Do people stand up and do the right thing? And what happens when the clerk offers onlookers a piece of the action?
SHOPPING WHILE BLACK: It’s a form of racial profiling so common that researchers have given it a name, Shopping While Black. It affects 60 percent of African Americans, and often takes the form of shopkeepers following customers around and asking if they really belong there. It can escalate to shoppers being frisked and searched – for no apparent reason other than the color of their skin. Last season “What Would You Do?” found out what happens when people witness this kind of overt profiling in a chic Manhattan clothing boutique. But what will happen in this all-new scenario when the shoppers are not only black, but teenagers – who are targeted most? When it becomes clear that the clerk seems to be targeting the girls solely because of the color of their skin, will anyone step in?
David Sloan is the executive producer and Chris Whipple is the senior producer of “Primetime: What Would You Do?”