Nyle DiMarco has spoken up about issues that have affected deaf people for quite some time now. But on an episode of What Would You Do?, he helped put that discrimination on screen.
In mocked-up skits, the show had actors play a deaf diner and rude server at a restaurant. When the diner attempts to get a menu and order with no words, the server immediately becomes agitated, exasperated, and even on one take moves to kick the diner out of the restaurant. Actual nearby diners interject themselves into the conversation at points, mostly hoping to help out, some even contacting the manager to object to the server’s behavior.
“Could you show a little bit more sensitivity?” a diner asks at one point. “You don’t treat people that way!” She eventually goes for a manager. DiMarco watches all of this, encouraged by a majority of the responses.
“Honestly I think this woman is doing a fantastic job, I think she’s doing everything right,” the Dancing with the Stars champion says through his interpreter backstage when a second customer goes to get the manager. “This is what I would love to see more people do in this situation.” Finally, DiMarco takes a turn at being the deaf customer himself. Again, nearby diners step in telling the server he’s being “really rude.”
More than one person teared up during the exercise as they realized it was a joke, but all explained that it was important for the server to put in the effort to figure it out. If only we all felt this way.