I keep seeing this video and others like it pop up on my Facebook page. I seem to be the only one who’s uncomfortable with it.
If you haven’t seen it, and you don’t feel like watching, the premise is:
A guy walks around a pizza shop asking patrons for some of their food. His friend secretly films the patrons reactions. When everyone in the pizza shop turns him down, the guy has his friend buy a pizza and give it to a man they assume is homeless. Then, a little while later, with the camera running in secret, Mr. Hungry comes along and hits up the free pizza recipient for a slice.
Okay, I get it. The whole point is to make people think about gratitude and sharing what they have. That’s important, and commendable. I still have questions, and it bothers me that nobody is asking them.
- Why is it okay to film any of these people without their knowledge?
- Why is it that the faces of the people in the pizza shop are all obscured, but the face of the guy we think is homeless is not?
- Why is it okay to make someone into an object lesson simply because you assume that he is homeless?
To my way of thinking, either the whole video is staged, which calls the validity of the experiment into question, or the premise assumes that it’s okay to exploit a person who looks “homeless” without guarding that person’s privacy.