Most of us would probably state that we do not care for bullying or individuals who make fun of the disabled or those with special needs. When no one is watching, however, sometimes people can behave in ways that are shocking and contradictory to what they claim.
If you were to witness a person being tormented because they have a disability, would you take measures to prevent it? This is the question What Would You Do? set out to answer with a powerful social experiment.
An actor with Down Syndrome was hired by What Would You Do? to pose as a bag boy at a local market in New Jersey. As he bags the items for various customers other actors begin to ridicule him and taunt him because he is moving slow.
Some of them become very ugly and even broach the “R” word in their ridicule and bullying. One actor even goes so far as to assert that companies should not hire the disabled because they “waste everyone’s time.”
The point of the experiment is to observe the reactions of the non-actors in the market and measure how they respond. These individuals have no idea that they are on camera being observed. What the experiment seeks to demonstrate is the breadth of people’s compassion when they are unaware that others are watching.