Nyle DiMarco & ‘What Would You Do?’ Look At Deaf Discrimination

Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model champ Nyle DiMarco took part in a segment of What Would You Do?, the hidden camera show, which focused on discrimination faced by the deaf community.
Nyle DiMarco on ‘What Would You Do?’

Dancing with the Stars and America’s Next Top Model champ Nyle DiMarco took part in a segment of What Would You Do?, the hidden camera show, which focused on discrimination faced by the deaf community.

DiMarco explained to host John Quiñones that he and his family, who are all deaf, have experienced discrimination while being served in restaurants before.

“Often, waiters are completely petrified and unsure what to do with us,” said DiMarco. “You can see in their eyes their world kind of collapsing as they try and figure out how to deal with us.”

The hidden camera show set out to see how other diners would react to a waiter being rude and refusing to serve a deaf guest (played by deaf actor J.W.) while the cameras rolled. DiMarco also stepped in as the restaurant guest himself.

J.W. on ‘What Would You Do?’

In one scenario, after the ‘waiter’ gets frustrated with J.W., a diner explains that J.W. is deaf. After the waiter tells the guest J.W. should have an interpreter with him, she suggests he could look at the menu where J.W. is pointing.

“That isn’t my job, though,” says the waiter.

The guest gets up from her table, walks to J.W.’s side and reads aloud what he’s pointing to. There – not so hard, huh?

Both J.W. and DiMarco told Quiñones they were happy with how people stepped in to address the waiter but added that things like that don’t happen very often in daily interactions. When one woman called the manager, Nyle said, “She’s doing everything right – this is what we’d love to see more people do.”

J.W. added, “Usually, when this kind of situation happens, people don’t get up and respond – or, it takes quite some time before somebody gets involved.”

See how diners react in the segment below.

In a post-show interview, J.W. offered this advice to Quiñones for interacting with deaf people, “Accept other people for who they are, and learn how to communicate with everybody. The simplest body language, the simplest gestures, will go a long way and have a big impact.”

A few years ago, Chippendales brought Nyle in to be there celebrity guest host (my husband, Michael, is the publicist for the Chipps). It was heartening to see all the Chippendales make an effort to learn some American Sign Language during his tenure at the show.

As J.W. mentions, even the simplest gestures go a long way.

I do have two suggestions I learned from Nyle to help avoid frustrations and communicate with the deaf community.

One simple fix is to pull your phone out and type out a text message, then show it to the deaf person you may be trying to communicate with. They’re deaf, but they can read. It’s an easy approach to overcoming barriers.

Also, Nyle has helped develop The ASL App for your phone, which teaches simple, everyday phrases. Developed, designed and created by Deaf people, you can pick up basics (even in slow motion if you don’t catch it the first time) to help communicate with those who use ASL.

ABC’s ‘What Would You Do?’ Explores Opinions On Adoption By Same-Sex Couples

ABC News series ‘What Would You Do?’ looks at opinions on gay adoption

ABC News’ popular What Would You Do? series took a dive into the issue of gay adoption and foster care with a scenario involving a gay couple and their seemingly adopted daughter.

Pointing out that almost 60,000 foster and adopted children across America are being raised by same-sex couples, WWYD notes that the laws regarding same-sex couples adopting vary from state to state.

For instance, in New York state, gay couples are allowed to adopt children no matter their marital status. But in Kentucky, the state requires same-sex couples to be married in order to adopt.

In the experiment, the show set up the same scenario in those two very different states to see if folks’ opinions varied as well.

What would you do if you heard a restaurant patron openly criticize a gay couple for raising a little girl?

First up, in Bardstown, Kentucky, the actress portraying the “intolerant” role calls across the restaurant to compliment the young girl. But when she finds out the couple are two gay dads, things go sour quickly.

“Don’t you think she should have a mother?,” the woman asks loudly. “I don’t think a child should be raised that way,” she adds.

A customer at a table between the couple and the hater quickly shifts her seat so that she blocks the hater’s view.

When the hater addresses the customer, her husband doesn’t hesitate to quickly stand and ask, “Lady, are you nuts or something?”

“You want me to leave?,” the hater asks. “That would be great,” says the gentleman as he sits down to his lunch as the woman exits the restaurant.

“Lady, are you nuts or something?”

In another scene, when the Kentucky hater yells, “That’s an innocent child with two gay men raising her,” another patron calmly explains to the woman, “I’m a teacher. I see it all the time and the children do not have problems.”


Up in Orangetown, New York, the hater is calmly confronted by a diner patron with this epic takedown:

“You need to lighten up lady. You need to back off. Get into the real world. You’ve got two people celebrating and demonstrating love for a child. You’ve got a lot of nerve. It doesn’t matter. Love is love. Would you rather see that child homeless, starving to death? It’s not about your opinion. It’s about the welfare of a child, a human being. The problem in the world is not two men raising a child. The problem in the world is you making comments like that.”


Flipping to Bardstown, when the Kentucky hater tells a restaurant customer, “I can’t believe you’re ok with this,” the patron doesn’t miss a beat: “I can’t believe you’re as intolerant as you are.”

Eventually, the entire restaurant turns on the hater and demands she leave.

Back at the New York diner, a male customer claps back in direct style telling the harasser, “My wife was raised by two women. It’s still love for the child and that’s all that f**king matters. You got a problem with that, f**king leave.”

Watch the scenarios unfold below.

‘What Would You Do?’ Explores Homophobes Stiffing A Lesbian Waitress

Over the weekend, I wrote about ABC News’ popular series “What Would You Do?” exploring how regular folks would react if they witnessed a baker refusing to sell a wedding cake to a same-sex couple.

It appears the folks at WWYD weren’t done with LGBT-themed situations.

Today we get to see actors playing homophobic bigots refusing to tip a waitress in a restaurant after they find out she’s lesbian.

The segment is based on a real incident back in 2017 where a waitress in Illinois was denied a tip by customers who had seen her rainbow tattoo. After the guests had departed, the waitress found a zero tip and a note which read, “Can’t tip someone who doesn’t love Jesus – Bad tattoo.”

So ABC News hired two actors to play homophobes who loudly act shocked and offended when the actress playing the waitress shares she’s married to a woman. “Marriage is by definition a man and a woman,” the female ‘homophobe declares for the other restaurant guests to hear.

One yahoo sitting near the ‘homophobes’ agreed with the couple, tossing out this this whopper: “Look at it this way, they can’t have any kids. Nature takes care of it all by itself. So, eventually they’ll wipe themselves out. Give it time.”

But when other diners overhear the plan to stiff the waitress, customers chime in asking, “Her life doesn’t impact your life, does it?”

Another woman was so riled up about the anti-LGBT animus she couldn’t stay seated. And her dining companion threatened to use physical force against the haters.

Watch how it all unfolds below.

ABC’s “What Would You Do?” Takes On Anti-LGBT Baker Scenario

Inspired by the SCOTUS Masterpiece Cakeshop case and others like it, ABC’s What Would You Do? allowed customers at a bakery to witness a lesbian couple getting turned down for their wedding cake.

Hit play for the reactions of the customers.

p.s. The man playing the ‘baker’ named Peter is actually a longtime friend of mine, Peter Gregus, who I’ve known since my acting days in NYC 🙂

Customers Defend Trans Woman To Rude Sales Clerk On “What Would You Do?”

Hidden camera show “What Would You Do?” sets up social situations in order to explore how everyday folks will react when presented with morally questionable behavior.

In a recent episode, two actors played a women’s clothing shop saleswoman and a female transgender customer.

When the “salesgirl” makes derogatory comments to the trans customer and calling her “sir,” the unsuspecting customers step up and defend the trans woman.

“Could you just take the dress off?” the salesgirl asks in front of the other customers. “I don’t want you ripping it and no one else is going to want to wear it after you.”

Stepping in to defend the trans woman, one customer calls out the salesgirl’s bigotry, “That’s not what this town or what this store is about!”

Another shuts down the saleswoman by reminding her, “It’s 2017!”

This is will definitely lift your heart.

What Would You Do? – Bike thieves

Sad commentary on how people still view race in this country.

The 1:50 mark will make your heart sink. But if we don’t see these kinds of experiments to know that race dynamics can still take this turn, we’ll never pay attention to the problem.

The white guy and the pretty girl get offers of help.

The black guy? Multiple calls to the police.