Hoboken stepped up to the plate and defended a woman being sexually harassed on the ABC show, “What Would You Do?”
The show, which aired on Friday, conducted a social experiment at River and Newark streets, where food truck Food on Wheels is parked.
In the show’s scenario, actors playing several construction workers harassed an actress in workout clothes by speaking to her lewdly and even touching her backside.
As the actress played it “Jersey strong” by talking back to the rude men, Hobokenites didn’t hesitate to step in and back her up – even when ABC switched up the game.
To see if the actors’ appearance affected how people reacted, ABC reran the experiment several times with the actress dressed in gym clothes and later in a more provocative outfit. They also tried switching out their “construction workers” for businessmen in suits.
No matter the situation, people seemed willing to speak up.
“You know, it was very strange because they had two different situations with construction workers and with suits,” said Food on Wheels owner Ali Gomah, who was asked by ABC to be part of the experiment’s background and setting during the June taping of the episode.
“When they were construction workers, everybody stepped in – when they were in suits, hardly anybody stepped in,” said the Brunswick resident. “They were more intimidated.”
Gomah, who has been serving up hot eats from his truck in Hoboken for 17 years, said he has sometimes seen women get harassed.
“It does happen once in a while, of course. You see a look sometimes, but nothing verbal.”
Overall, he says, the Mile Square City is not a place that would tolerate such lewd behavior.
“A couple people really went after the guys and were gonna hit them, but the camera crews came out,” he laughed, adding that he really thinks all Hobokenites would’ve done something about the situation.
“It’s a small community and I believe they will step up and do the right thing in many different situations,” said Gomah.