A hidden camera captures how few people actually do step in.

Michael Gollust
October 24, 2017

Burger King may seem like an unlikely agent for social consciousness-raising, but to stoke conversation around National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, the fast food chain has struck a chord with their affecting new PSA titled “Bullying Jr.”

The setup is simple: In a nondescript Burger King restaurant, as real burger-chomping patrons look on complacently, a gaggle of teenage actors descend upon a skinny high-schooler with teases and taunts. Meanwhile, actors in the kitchen surreptitiously manhandle Whopper Jr. sandwiches and serve them to other unwitting real customers.

The reactions are telling: While only 12% of patrons in the experiment rose to the defense of the bullied teen, a full 95% reacted with genuine outrage upon unwrapping their “bullied” burgers.

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As the clip closes with the message that “No Jr. deserves to be bullied,” one of the guardian angel customers speaks to the camera about the defenselessness that victims feel, while real teens relate their own experiences being bullied and protected from bullies.

With 30% of students worldwide experiencing bullying each year (according to No Bully, the non-profit that that brought out the PSA with Burger King), it’s a message that needs be heard, so kudos to the fast food chain for stepping into a relative vacuum of leadership on the issue.

Check out and share the PSA, and learn more about preventing bullying at StopBullying.gov—including what you can say and do to stop bullying on the spot.