Homophobe attacks pregnant woman for letting a gay couple parent her child in busy restaurant. This is how the public reacted

Traci pretended to berate a mother giving her child to a gay couple.

A hidden camera show sought to find out how the public would react to a pregnant woman being harassed for letting a same-sex couple adopt her child.

ABC’s hidden-camera ethical dilemma series What Would You Do? cast actors as a pregnant young woman preparing to place her child for adoption, and a same-sex couple hoping to adopt.

As the three met in a restaurant, a stranger from a neighbouring table (also an actor), began to berate the mother for considering a gay couple to parent her child.

“Not to be mean, but I think that’s the worst thing you could do to your baby,” said the woman, dubbed Traci.

Immediately, members of the public chimed in to dismiss Traci.

One bystander yelled at her: “That’s not your place. What’s wrong with two men having a baby?”

The man, later told producers that although he is straight, his brother is gay and that he “would like to think that if that happened to my brother, someone would have stepped up”.

“It just sounds like ignorance, quite frankly.”

Another participant reassured and consoled the couple. He said: “With what’s going on in the world today, something like that that would be filled with love should be embraced.”

One man criticised Traci’s approach, but seemed to agree with what she was saying. He said to Traci: “I know it’s wrong, but can you just let them be? I understand where you’re coming from.”

He later spoke to Traci on her own, asking about her religious views. When the actor playing Traci pressed him on whether he would give his own baby to a gay couple, he said: “I don’t know, as long as that person is willing to take care of that child.”

Another man who stepped in said: “Don’t worry about what anyone else says. [The couple] are going to go through a lifetime of dealing with people like that. You’re just going to have to be strong.”

What Would You Do? creates ethical dilemmas that put unwitting participants on the spot and film what they do with a hidden camera. It first aired on ABC in 2008.

The show often uses LGBT+ people in the scenarios it creates, many of which are based on real incidents. It has previously run episodes in which people refused to tip a lesbian waitress, and in which a lesbian couple was denied a wedding cake.