What Would You Do started their second season in May of 2010. They set up scenarios about race, gender and clothing to see if there is a difference between when a person will help someone else. The first episode dealt with many different issues to find out what strangers would do in different situations.
Drinking too much
Two actors are at a bar, a woman and a man. The woman is celebrating a birthday and has too much to drink. The man is trying to take her home even though they are ‘strangers’ and the women clearly does not know him. The first time everyone stepped in to make sure that the man does not take advantage the drunken woman. To see if there were any differences, they switched the woman’s clothing. They wanted to see if the situation would be different if the girl was the typical ‘party girl’. It seemed that this did not make a difference as to find help. However, you can not bet on the kindness of strangers as the show points out by interviewing those that have lost loved ones.
Stealing a bike
An actor sets up to steal a bike, and when asked is very honest about the fact of what he is doing. A lot of people looked on and asked what he was doing. He tries to hammer the lock and saw the chain. No one tries to stop him; the actor starts to use an electric tool on the chain. That is the one time that ONE couple told not to do it, but they do not call the police. After this incident they switch the race of the thief. Many more people try to stop him then when the thief white skinned. In fact, a big crowd starts to surround the thief using their phones to call the police. When the host asked the ‘helpers’ if the race was a subject they all said no. To explore this situation farther, the actor was told to tell the strangers that he lost his key. In this situation everyone helped him get away with the bike. Then it was time to ask a girl actor to try to steal the bike. Most of the time with the girl thief a lot of men helped her steal the bike even when she told them that it “was not her bike.”
Lottery rip off
An actress is sent into a store to have a clerk scan a lottery ticket to find out if it is a winner. The sounds go off announcing the win but the clerk tells the woman that she did not win, and the clerk pockets the ticket. For awhile most other customers did not tell the woman she was getting scammed. After a bit a former police officer comes in and stands up for the woman. Then the show ‘sweetens the pot’ because the clerk offers to split the winnings with other customers. One person agrees and then another does not. In more then half of the times no one says anything. The biggest surprise was an unemployed man insists on telling the woman she won.
Shopping while black
The show employees a group of three teenage black actors to endure abuse at an upscale clothing store. The manager and the security of the store tell the shoppers that ‘people like you’ are suspicious. Many people just moved on although they did stand outside and peer into the window. They are visibility upset about the situation, but do nothing about stopping the abuse. For two days the conducted this experiment and over 200 hundred shopped at the store. Only sixteen people stepped up to say something about what was going on.
I view this show and ABC’s True Beauty as a way to look inside myself to make me a better person. I try to put myself in the situation to ask myself “What would you do”. These situations are hard to look at and make you wonder the truth about everyone. In the situation with the drunken woman-being honest with myself- I would have probably said something depending on the man in the situation. If he looked nice and put together I would had not said anything at all. It would have been interesting to see them switch that in the scenario. After I watched this episode I had to ask myself some really interesting questions about race. I have tried very much not to be effect by race, but I don’t know if I am successful at it. I don’t know if I could step up for someone that was getting discriminated against. This is something I will need to work on. Watch ABC’s What Would You Do and challenge yourself. It will open your eyes.