December 15, 2013

"I feel like a jerk suspecting that they were all actors."

I said, and Will Cate said:
I think they were all actors, and I don't at all feel like a jerk for thinking it. It's television. That means it's almost certainly 100% fake. Look at all the different camera-shots, the lighting. I call bullshit on the whole thing.
It was incredibly didactic and it played straight into the audience's desire to believe that good people are out there with the skill and the energy to lead us forward into racial harmony. Ah, well! It was a nice Sunday-school lesson in how to step up and speak out for what's right... if you believe.

In real life, most people, even good people, think it's best to deploy cold silence as the social pressure against strangers who say things that aren't very nice. But you can't make a TV show out of assorted dirty looks, however sharp and well-aimed.

12 comments:

lemondog said...

As the video progress, my suspicions begin about the blonde girlfriend and her 'boyfriend' and the final segment was too smoooooth, too pat and then the final huggie poo.

Rh's Gak seems to sum it up: squooshie, feel goodie and well.... Gak!

lemondog said...

But I remain uncertain...was it all fake?

pm317 said...


In real life, most people, even good people, think it's best to deploy cold silence as the social pressure against strangers who say things that aren't very nice.


Actually I did not stay silent once that I remember proudly, in real life. There were no TV cameras. I was riding a bus back to my city after visiting my in-laws. I was alone with my husband abroad. The conductor on the bus was slow, very slow as he went from seat to seat dispensing the tickets (yeah, this was 25 years ago India) and it was not time to leave yet. One oldish rich man with his daughter got in and started hectoring the conductor, calling him 'idiot' multiple times. We all looked on silently for the first couple of times. And I could not contain it longer. I registered my protest at the spectacle urging the conductor to say something. The old man got irritated with me and said to shut up but he also shut up.

TML said...

Well, unless I'm missing something, this has to be fake. The stylist is an employee of the salon. Did the producers plant her there months ago? She couldn't just be airdropped in. Wouldn't work. And we know she wasn't recruited because they say she's an actress. Maybe she was a part-time hire but they need to make that clear.

TML said...

Clarification: recruited from the existing employees to play this role

Ann Althouse said...

@TML The video tells you that the stylist and the blonde are actresses. That's not the point here. The question is whether the "real life" people who respond are also actors.

pm317 said...

About the "real-life" people, how could they record segments with different people in that cramped place without being found out, because there is a reveal at the end of each segment? Even if they captured each on different days, wouldn't the word have got out, sort of cat out of the bag?

TML said...

Ann, I should've put "employee" in quotes, because I meant she was served up as an employee, i.e. she worked there normally along with all the other employees as one of them.
The other employees would have to know her unless they were all in on it too. If you just drop her in to a very familiar and tight group of people, they'd all have to be in on it. And I understand your bigger question. I was addressing the entire set-up and wondering how only two people could be "in on it"

TML said...

I watched it again. Maybe they think we'll all just assume the entire shop is in on it. But I think they should have been clearer. They only say the stylist and the girlfriend are actors. Why not say the boyfriend is an actor too? Clearly he must be, right?

TML said...

Ann, also, see my clarification. perhaps--and this makes the most sense to me--she was recruited from the employee base. Because she's not a very good actress.

St. George said...

As touching as the video was, it's also a disturbing invasion of privacy in a public place.

The movie "Carrie" did a similar promotional prank in a coffee shop depicting an angry customer levitate tables and rise off the floor. People were genuinely frightened, even terrified, even going so far as to turn and start to flee.

It's a far cry from Allen Funt leaving a cupcake in front of a first-grader and leaving the room to see if she will eat it.

Here's the genius Buster Keaton on Candid Camera. He's having trouble eating soup in a diner.

Lydia said...

The woman who said “Civil liberties run the gamut –- I'm gay, do you think that's wrong?” and led all in a group hug was just too perfect, and so I assumed she too had to be actor. But it seems she's a human resources executive and diversity trainer in NYC, so maybe it was pure luck for WWYD that she happened to be in that barbershop that day?