What if you witnessed two well-dressed women stealing while touring at an open house? And would you break the law for someone who says they are an authority figure? 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 “Primetime: What Would You Do?” airing TUESDAY, AUGUST 24, 2010 (10:00 – 11:00 pm ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Often people speculate on how they might act in a difficult situation, but this series shows what they actually do in the face of everyday dilemmas that test their character and values. Tuesday’s scenarios include:
- BLIND TRUST: What happens when a cashier gives the incorrect paper currency as change to a blind customer? Will any of the bystanders step in? (OAD: 1/27/09)
- AUTHORITY FIGURE: “20/20” reported the unimaginable story of a female McDonald's manager following orders from an unknown voice on the phone – pretending to be a police officer – insisting that she perform inappropriate acts on a subordinate. She complied. Utilizing a real-life Bounty Hunter, “What Would You Do” asked how far everyday people would go to obey someone they believe is an authority figure. The Bounty Hunter recruits shoppers at a Flea Market to help detain a supposed fugitive mother entangled in a custody battle, "deputizing" the citizens with nothing but a mail-order badge. Will they confirm the mother's identity, handcuff her, drop unidentified pills into her soda, or even run away with her baby? (OAD: 3/24/09)
- CHEATERS: What will happen when friends notice a mutual friend out to dinner, cheating on his/her spouse? How willing will they be to intervene in such a personal matter? (OAD: 2/22/2008)
- OPEN HOUSE THEFT: Two well-dressed women show up at an open house to see a 1.4 million dollar home for sale and are soon stealing everything in sight. Will other visitors to the open house notice and say or do anything? And will the response be different if the thief is black or a man? (OAD: 1/27/09)
“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 and Chris Whipple are the executive producers and Danielle Baum is the senior producer of “What Would You Do?”