The June 14 episode of ABC’s What Would You Do again trolled for the archetypal intolerant conservative American that are supposedly around every bend in two outrageous segments concerning a gay Boy Scout and a racist deli shop customer. The show, which uses actors to play out outrageous scenarios to see how unsuspecting passers-by react, hosted the gay Boy Scout scenario at a roadside steakhouse in Texas. This is similar to a similar sting video last week which had a gay basketball player come out to his coach and teammates.
What better setting -- if you're a liberal news producer from Manhattan -- to stage this incident being that the state is known for the Lawrence v. Texas Supreme Court decision on sodomy laws and that it's a reliably red state, producing both Presidents Bush as well as Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. Rick Perry, liberal media bogeymen all.
Three actors, “Anthony, Matthew, and Tony” portrayed Boy Scouts. One of them, Matthew, comes out as gay to the group. Needless to say, his two friends offer disparaging remarks, but the fishing expedition for bigots falls flat as the patrons at the restaurant are supportive of Nathan. They may be disapproving or ambivalent about homosexuality, but offer words of compassion to the young actor. It seems John Quinones didn’t find the anti-gay, Westboro Baptist Church types he may have been searching for.
Later in the show, John Quinones traveled to Kingston, New York, where a mosque was desecrated in 2010, in search of Islamophobes in the area. To set up the contrived explosion of intolerance, we have two actors playing Meena, the Muslim deli worker, and Oliver, the racist American. Oliver proudly wears a “God Bless America” shirt, as if patriotism was an indication of racist overtones, and doesn’t like that Meena is serving sandwiches in his country.
But again, Oliver gets dressed down by patrons who rebuke him for his bigotry.
When will ABC, or Quinones, realize that racist Americans exist, but are a small sliver of society?
You can read the transcripts below:
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS): (Voiceover) Here in the middle of cowboy country, what would you do?
ABC CREW (MALE): John, we are rolling. This is take number one.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) :(Voiceover) Mathew wastes no time revealing his secret.
MATTHEW: I have something to tell you guys.
ANTHONY (CONTINUED) : All right.
TONY (MALE) :Okay.
MATTHEW: You have to keep it a secret, though. Like, really. Promise?
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) :(Voiceover) Will our gay scout earn a badge of support from this table?
MATTHEW :I think I like boys more than I like girls.
MATTHEW :It is just like a feeling that I've had recently.
GRAPHICS: 31% OF AMERICANS BELIEVE THAT BEING GAY IS A CHOICE.
TONY :That's so weird.
MATTHEW :I haven't even told my parents. You guys are the only ones who know. Please don't tell anyone.
TONY :Can't you like go to a counselor or something?
ANTHONY: Yeah, maybe you can, like, pray it away.
MATTHEW :I can't change who I am.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Voiceover): Quickly, this woman breaks her silence and offers spiritual advice.
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE) :Listen, Christians don't hate the sinner. We just don't like the sin. But Christians still love ya.
MATTHEW : So is it okay to be gay?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE) : It's okay. You can ask for forgiveness. I believe in the Bible.
MATTHEW: What does the Bible say?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): Well, it is throughout the Bible. It says men shall not lay with men.
RESTAURANT PATRON (MALE): There's a lot of good Christians in this world that will help you out with stuff like that.
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): If you do end up accepting it and doing that, there will be people that will accept you no matter what.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): Nice, nice. Shall we break it?
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS)(Off-camera): Hi, ma'am. How are you? I'm John Quinones.
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): Oh, no.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): I'm with "What Would You Do," the TV show. You know the show?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): Yes, I do.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): You were very kind in taking time to talk to them.
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE) :Yeah, I was concerned.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): Your eyes are tearing. Why?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): Yeah, I mean, like I told him, I do have kinfolk that are gay. But I still love 'em.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): So your heart went out to him. Why say something?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): I guess because I'm a mom. I've got children of my own.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): And if they said to you, Mom, I'm gay?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): It wouldn't make a difference. I would just pray for him.
RESTAURANT PATRON (MALE): Would not make a difference.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Voiceover): With the scene in full swing, we meet others who aren't afraid to speak up and offer their own opinion.
RESTAURANT PATRON (MALE): At the end of the day, you've just got to be comfortable in who you are.
MATTHEW: And do you think it's wrong?
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): Honestly, I do, but I accept everyone for who they are.
RESTAURANT PATRON (FEMALE): I mean, if they don't accept you for who are, then they're not, they don't seem much as friends.
OLIVER: Look, I'd like to order some food. Just not from you, okay?
SOLDIER: Get out. Put the chips down and go buy them somewhere else.
OLIVER: You want me to leave this place?
SOLDIER: You have a choice to go shop anywhere, just like he has a choice to practice his religion anywhere. That's the reason I wear the uniform. So anyone can live free in this country. Leave the man alone. Buy your stuff and leave.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Voiceover): It's time to tell this soldier this is one battle he no longer has to fight.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): How are you, sir?
SOLDIER: How are you sir?
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): I'm John Quinones, with ABC's "What Would You Do," the TV show.
SOLDIER: You've got to be kidding me.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): He was an actor. People might say that's very heroic, what you said. Is it?
SOLIDER: No, sir. No. Heroes come in many shapes and sizes, but that wasn't heroic at all. It was just being a person and standing up for someone else.
JOHN QUINONES (ABC NEWS) (Off-camera): What principles were you defending?
SOLDIER: Everyone's inalienable rights.