If you happened to be dining in and saw a restaurant manager refuse service to a patron because he was wearing a “Make America Great” (MAGA) hat, how would you react?
Hidden cameras were set up for an episode of What Would You Do? at the Randolph diner in Randolph, New Jersey, which is a fair place for this social experiment, being that there is a pretty balanced distribution of voters between republican and democratic in this area.
The episode is based on real-life events that have taken place across the United States since Trump became president, such as when The Red Hen Restaurant in Virginia refused service to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in June 2018.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 3, 2018
Although the scene is set, the customers seated nearby the hat-wearing actor, Brian, are not arranged.
So, how will they react to an unfair refusal of service that plays out before them?
And no, the diner does not have a dress code prohibiting hats. The manager, also an actor, appears adamant about rejecting the MAGA slogan, which he doesn’t hesitate to air his views about.
“I’m gonna ask you to remove your hat,” the manager tells Brian, adding that he will not be served if he wears a MAGA hat.
Tomorrow night on #WWYD, a man is told to remove his “Make America Great Again” hat or he won’t be served. These customers walked out. What would you do? #wwydabc
“I’m not taking off the hat,” Brian responds, acting aghast at this request.
“The hat is upsetting to people in this restaurant,” protests the manager.
But Brian is determined to not take off the hat and explains that “They don’t look upset to me.”
The back-and-forth conflict catches the attention of those seated nearby, and there are a variety of reactions.
One lady appears fairly undeterred with her meal and does not register the manager’s protest as something to be worried about. She makes it clear she does not support the MAGA slogan but is not bothered by the hat. She suggests that Brian remove his hat if he wants to eat.
As the cameras roll for each scene, most people object in their own ways when they see Brian, who is cleanly dressed and not causing a fuss, being denied service.
One lady offers to order for Brian in one scene.
In another scene, a group of diners seated nearest sympathize with him and invite him over to their table.
“It’s total nonsense what that guy tried to do to you,” one of them tells Brian.
Another explains that he has “the right to wear that hat.”
The group also raises questions for the manager and supports Brian wearing the hat, whether the manager agrees to his opinion or not.
They also went on insisting that it was “irrelevant whether or not you know, you should serve him.”
One of the diners from the group emphasized that “he’s not doing anything actually wrong.”
When show host John Quiñones walks in on the scene after the guys get into a restrained disagreement with the manager, he asks them for their opinions on the matter.
“That guy made a judgement of that gentleman sitting there, just based on his hat, and not based on his character … like how good of a person he was,” says one of the guys. “I think that’s just really wrong.”
“I don’t think that politics is a justification for not serving,” adds another.
While another lady comments, “In this country, we are blessed because you can have an opinion, wear a shirt that tells your opinion…”
Well, the strongest protest comes in next. We won’t spoil it for you, but the next one gets most everybody involved.
Check out the episode below: