Oprah Cliffs Notes VII

posted by Momo Fali on December 17, 2008

On yesterday’s Oprah, ABC’s John Quiñones discussed What Would You Do?, which is his latest social experiment airing on Primetime…formerly known as Primetime Live. Also, formerly known as an interesting show. In this experiment, hidden cameras are used to see how people react when put into volatile situations.

In the first segment, we saw a group of female actors in a park. One of the girls was being bullied by the other three. The hidden camera was used to see if anyone would stop and help the victim.

The mean girls used labels like “nerd”, “loser”, and other niceties. Many women stopped and scolded the girls for their lousy behavior and made sure the victim was okay. Most men did nothing. Though in their defense, when women are talking, men don’t really listen. Unless that woman is Erin Andrews.

In the second experiment, an actor behind the counter of a bakery in Texas tells an actor dressed as a Muslim woman to take her business elsewhere. In this case, the cameras are there to see if anyone will criticize the “clerk” for his blatant discrimination.

Most customers ignore the situation, even when the clerk tells the woman to “get back on your camel and go back to where you came from”. Which is the point where I would have left the store, driven down the road to a cattle ranch, picked up a longhorn, then gone back to the bakery and kindly asked that bigot to bend over.

This lady with the sideways glance is Kiley. Kiley didn’t know there were hidden cameras watching her, as she watched her best friend’s boyfriend in a restaurant with another woman. You got that? Read it again. Here, let me help. Kiley’s best friend is Mary Ellen, and Mary Ellen’s boyfriend, David, was flirting with a woman who was not Mary Ellen. The other woman? You guessed it, she’s an actor.

Kiley was set up to see if she would confess what she witnessed. She did. She nervously told Mary Ellen that she saw David holding hands and kissing another woman. And to prove she’s the kind of friend every woman should have, Kiley then reached in her purse and offered Mary Ellen a Xanax.

After reading this, I wish I had some to offer you.


  • BusyDad

    you know you are my preferred source for all things Oprah, right?

  • Lisa@verybusymomwith4

    I like you more than Oprah–your spin is much better 😉

  • the planet of janet

    you’re totally my go(prah)-to person on this stuff.

  • Mama Dawg

    I started watching this but then it got painful. So I stopped. And wrapped another present and sang “fa la la la la” in my head til it was over.

  • Joeprah

    First, who’s Oprah? and second, they should make this a steady segment of whatever show you said this came from, I am somehow unfamiliar.

  • Kori

    Yet one more reason to not watch tv…though I like the idea of the bigot bending over for your longhorn.

  • Melissa

    Wow, sounds like quality programming…yikes!

  • Rhea

    I would have interfered in all three situations. Because that’s not cool. No way, no how.

  • Tara R.

    Yet another reason I don’t watch much network TV either. Humiliation TV is not entertaining to me at all, that’s a big reason why I dislike ‘reality TV’ so much.

  • Ms Picket To You

    i would love a friend like Kiley. i’d like to think I would do the same as her but when i reached into my purse for something of comfort to offer, I would find: receipts, loose change, tic tacs, a lighter (could be useful come to think of it), and a dirty grey sock from the Children’s Place.

  • Dapoppins

    Oprah needs to hire you as her official sanity commentator!

  • Ashley

    This was almost as good as actually getting tv. Maybe better. 😉

    I hope if one of my friends saw my bf…I mean…er…husband with another girl, they’d tell me too. And offer a xanax…preferably one before she told me the news and after…

  • kaila

    Another Oprah fix for me. Thank you I needed that.

    BTW – I totally would have said something in each and every one of those situations.

  • Kimmylyn

    You are my official Oprah source.. and those people that said nothing should be kicked in the shin.

  • mammadawg.com

    Hmnnn… this hits pretty close to home. When my 1st husband started getting high and dealing drugs, it would’ve been nice to have had a “Kiley” in my life.

  • Heather

    I totally watched this and squirmed uncomfortably the whole time. But I tell you what, I would have NOT stood by, and remained quiet, for ANY of those scenes.

  • AlisonH

    It takes a village, it really does; thank goodness for real villagers!

  • Captain Dumbass

    What would you do if you could be Oprah for a day?

  • Jo Beaufoix

    I’m with you on all of them Momo. I can’t believe nobody walked out during the second. That’s a bit scary but would probably be just the same over here. Wow.

  • Smart A$$ Mom

    What has tv gone to? That is all crap.

  • Weaselmomma

    Good to know that you are the friend I can count on when I need a fix, um I mean am having a bad day.

  • DadGoneMad

    You had me at Erin Andrews.

  • meleah rebeccah

    “Kiley then reached in her purse and offered Mary Ellen a Xanax.”

    Now that is a REAL friend.

  • Melisa

    Oh sure, I check in with you here a day after you’ve posted and find out you’ve been handing out Xanax that you actually don’t have. Great. Bet you’re out by now.

  • holly

    i love your oprah cliff notes. you should definitely always do them.

    i am pissed off at my husband right now (he was a jerk earlier) and my almost-midnight laughter at this pleases me because it’s annoying him, hopefully.

  • Amy

    I do much prefer you to Oprah. And I would glady take any Xanax you offer me!

  • Mz. Nesbit

    OMG! I’m so bummed I missed that show. I love these setups. I think they’re hilarious!!

  • Speedcat Hollydale

    She offered Xanadu?

    I would love to meet Olivia Newton John!!!!

    dancing singing dancing singing

  • Jack

    I think that people are so wrapped up in their own lives they hardly notice anything outside of their own circle.

  • divacosmos

    Ack! Another brilliant awkward moment reality show. And I was just simmering down from seeing a promo for clown Howie Mandel’s new reality show, “Howie Do It”. Please. Stop.

  • Karen MEG

    Reading you is so much better than watching the “O”. Thanks for that!

  • Jaina

    Interesting experiments.

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