Entertainment

Standing by a bullied teen is all it takes: Schneller

Burger King PSA shows us that most of the time, we don’t need to confront anyone to stop a wrong.

This woman in a Burger King PSA tells the bullied boy, “In an ideal world, if someone sees something weird happening, they come over and say, 'Hey, this is not OK.'”

Screenshot / YouTube

This woman in a Burger King PSA tells the bullied boy, “In an ideal world, if someone sees something weird happening, they come over and say, 'Hey, this is not OK.'”

The Show: Burger King Anti-Bullying PSA (youtube.com)

The Moment: The good example

Burger King sets up an experiment: They hide cameras, and hire four teenage actors. Three of them bully the fourth. In full view of real customers, they taunt him, push him out of his chair, pour pop on his food. Meanwhile, their “employees” serve mashed-up burgers to those same customers. Ninety-five per cent of the customers complain about their burgers. Only 12 per cent stand up for the kid.

Just as we’re thinking, “This is a false equivalency,” we see one of the stand-up customers, a cool-looking woman in a jacket. “Are you OK?” she asks the kid. Though he says, “Yeah,” she gets up and moves her food to his table.

She asks a bully his name, and shakes his hand. She says a nice goodbye when the bullies leave. Then she tells the bullied boy, “In an ideal world, if someone sees something weird happening, they come over and say hey, this is not OK.”

We see another customer defend the boy, too, a man who says to the bullies, “He’s not having fun, so I think you should leave him alone.” Later, he tells the camera, “To feel defenseless is one of the worst things in the world,” and we’re directed to a relevant website, nobully.org.

As manipulative as this public service announcement is, it’s also supremely effective. It shows us that most of the time, we don’t need to confront anyone to stop a wrong. The simple act of standing with the person who’s being wronged — literally, standing near them — is all it takes.

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