Down syndrome harassment on “What Would You Do?” on ABC

A grocery store bagger with Down syndrome who is harassed by a customer is featured this week on ABC News’ “What Would You Do?” – which creates situations and sees if people intervene. (The bagger is played by an actor with Down syndrome.) Did anyone intervene? The show airs May 19. From the ABC News press room:

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 with special needs being harassed by an ignorant customer? Will restaurant patrons intervene when a waiter complains about a lesbian couple with a child? 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 a special edition of “Primetime: What Would You Do?” airing 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: Hundreds of millions of Americans take to the skies each 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?


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