Skip to Content
What Would You Do? Instinctive Reactions and What they Reveal: Confronting Discrimination and Prejudice cover image

What Would You Do? Instinctive Reactions and What they Reveal: Confronting Discrimination and Prejudice 2008


Distributed by Films Media Group, PO Box 2053, Princeton, New Jersey 08543-2053; 800-257-5126
Produced by Ann Sorkowitz
Directed by Ann Sorkowitz
DVD, color, 37 min.

Sr. High - Adult
Sociology, Discrimination

Date Entered: 01/12/2010

Reviewed by LaRoi Lawton, Library & Learning Resources Department, Bronx Community College of the City University of New York

This program is broken up into four main vignettes using real actors with ABC news reporter, Mr. John Quinones regarding discrimination and prejudice. Each of the vignettes deal with varying degrees of discrimination and prejudice such as religious discrimination; race and domestic abuse; harassment of people who are overweight; race and crime. Each scenario graphically illustrates the schism of reactions shockingly, from support to seething disapproval. It is disturbing, passionate and candid. These actors are shown having exchanges with unwitting bystanders, generating a wide range of responses—from blatant resentment towards other ethnic groups-post 9-11, to acts of genuine concern and compassion. What is even more shocking is the amount of people who are clearly uncomfortable within each of the vignettes, but do nothing. The scenarios include a bakery clerk’s refusal to serve a Muslim woman wearing a headscarf and his verbal tirade against her culture, her dress; cruelty towards an overweight woman seated on a boardwalk by a group of young women; a very public argument between a man and woman that threatens to become violent; and a purse-snatching in a crowded square, after which witnesses are asked to view a suspect lineup- choosing in many cases, the wrong person as a suspect. Some scenes are blatantly hostile, bigoted, and extreme but drive home the point of the program: as long as there is a “silent majority” discrimination and prejudice will continue to plague American society further polarizing us into silos of hatred. While the program shows “some” people defending each of the victims, it is clear that many more should have intervened but did not. Recommended