In a strange setup, ABC staged a fake job interview in which a health food store manager turned down an applicant for being overweight. But a customer came to the applicant's defense.
As part of its "What Would You Do?" segment, the network set up the interaction in full view of customers, who thought it was real. One dude called out the discrimination, eloquently calling the manager a "fucking idiot." Not everyone was so critical, however. One female customer told host John Quinones,
Well, I have to say, …I'm with him (the actor playing the role of manager) on it. I really am. I think that you know, he told the truth instead of lying, and honesty, to me, is always the right way to go, regardless.
When Quinones pointed out that the manager had been engaging in weight discrimination, the customer responded, "No, he's a, he's a business owner, and he's allowed to do... He can hire whoever he wants to hire. That's the way I look at it." This may not be completely true. Discrimination law in New Jersey, where ABC staged the experiment, doesn't specifically protect against weight discrimination, but in 1988 a man was awarded damages when a rental car company fired him for being overweight (he was also disabled). Federal law currently doesn't protect against weight discrimination, but maybe if more voters were aware of the ways bias affects overweight people, that might change. Still, it seems like a good idea to raise awareness of real instances of discrimination, rather than cooking up fake ones.