Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Social experiment: Out and proud at the sports bar

I came across a piece done by ABC's Primetime in a segment called, "What would you do?".
[And so did Pat Griffin who offers a much more extensive analysis than mine below so...]

We know how Primetime and similar shows like to go undercover, hire some actors, and put hidden cameras everywhere. Usually they are trying to catch pedophiles, this time they were publicly shaming homophobes.

The article and the accompanying clip (the full thing aired on the show) set up a scenario where two gay men patronize a sports bar and engage in public displays of affection. The gay men are actors (but a couple in real life) as are an instigator and a heterosexual couple. The cameras were there most of the day and the gay couple encountered, it seemed (the clip seemed to get cut off) various situations. In one the instigator was supported in his complaints by two men, in another he was shut down by a male patron who told him to leave and told the couple they were beautiful. And in another instance a female bar-goer confronted the couple and told them they were making her very uncomfortable, that no one else in the bar was making her so uncomfortable, and then she proceeded to leave.

Nothing conclusive--obviously. It is a Primetime experiment after all. Not especially nuanced. But interesting nonetheless.

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