Will anyone sound the whistle when they see two commercial pilots drinking heavily at an airport bar? Who will stand up for a bagger at a grocery store who has special needs and is being harassed by an ignorant customer? Will restaurant patrons intervene when a waiter complains about a lesbian couple with a child? Using hidden cameras, “Primetime: 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 a special edition of “Primetime: What Would You Do?,” WEDNESDAY, MAY 19 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on ABC.
This series shows what people actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values. Friday’s scenarios include:
DRUNK PILOTS: Millions of Americans take to the skies every year trusting their pilot to get them to their destination safely. What would you do if you witnessed two commercial airline pilots drinking heavily at a bar just an hour away from getting into the cockpit?
SPECIAL NEEDS – SPECIAL TREATMENT: People with intellectual disabilities have more professional opportunities than ever before, but they still face ignorance and even bigotry. Working in cooperation with the National Down Syndrome Society, an actor with Down syndrome poses as a bagger in a grocery store. But it doesn’t take long for an ignorant customer – also an actor – to start protesting. “What’s the matter with you? Are you retarded?” he complains. Will unwitting observers, waiting their turn at the cashier, take a stand against this abuse, or will they ignore it?
GAY PARENTS: A lesbian couple is eating dinner with their two young children when a nosy waiter interrupts them, questioning their relationship. “Where’s your daddy?” he asks one of the children. The waiter complains that having two mommies is “unnatural,” and asks the family to leave the restaurant. This scenario is based on real incidents across the country. In fact, gay and lesbian couples can be thrown out of restaurants legally in several states. Will other restaurant patrons intervene, or will they look the other way?
BRIDEZILLA: From over-the-top bridesmaid gowns to a bridesmaid contract outlining the bride’s expectations about hair, weight, and even how many drinks can be consumed at the reception, “What Would You Do?” tests the limits bridesmaids can be pushed to by their Bridezilla friends. Hidden cameras record the reactions of the bridesmaids as they decide how best to handle the situation. At what point, if any, does a woman tell a friend, even if she is a bride, that she’s gone over the line with ridiculous demands?
“What Would You Do?” has won awards from the Chicago International Television Festival, and the Avon Foundation’s 2006 Voice of Change award for exposing “injustice and wrongdoing against women and bringing the message of domestic violence to the mainstream.” The Columbia Journalism Review has called the program “a Candid Camera of Ethics.” David Sloan is the executive producer. Chris Whipple and Danielle Baum are the senior producers of “What Would You Do?”