As part of a new series of “social experiments,” WPIX-TV reporter Kirstin Cole set out to discover if New Yorkers really are as rude as some news headlines suggest.
The reporter wore a disguise — a brown wig and a fake pregnant belly — and rode an NYC subway, carried luggage and attempted to get a taxi to see if New Yorkers would step up to the plate and show some kindness.
Cole outlines some of the treatment she received during the experiment:
I pushed my way toward the passengers lucky enough to get a seat on the train. Women are quick to notice my very large belly and give up a seat. Another man jumps up, and only as we exit the car do I see he needed it more than me with the difficulty he has walking. So far, New Yorkers are only too eager to help.
And just when I think New York rudeness is mere myth, I find myself standing next to a man sitting comfortably in a seat that’s labelled for handicapped riders – and he’s playing possum. My multiple undercover cameras caught how he looks at me then looks away. He looks again at my swollen belly, and drops eye contact. Then he glances a third time, but pretends not to see, presumably so he won’t have to stand.
Another train car and it’s a man sitting next to a child and her mother. He catches my belly and looks away and then those undercover cameras catch him trying to avoid looking at all. A mother two seats down chastises her son across the way into making room for me and, at least, I sit.
The rest of the results may surprise you. Watch the video via WPIX-TV here:
(H/T: Washington Examiner)