While it isn’t uncommon for a large company to release the occasional PSA, Burger King’s latest video, which tackles the topic of bullying, is somewhat shocking in its design. It begins with comments from school children, sharing the variety of names they’ve heard people called (or may have been called themselves) as well as admissions of bullying others.
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As reported by GQ, the PSA touches on a lot of topics related to bullying in the beginning, including that “it’s easier to do nothing” or the fear that intervening may make them a target.
The ad states, “30% of students worldwide are bullied each year,” and then goes to a clip from inside a Burger King restaurant, where the chain says they “bullied a High School Jr. and a Whopper Jr. to see which one received more complaints,” and shows the results of the encounters.
Actors were used during the video, which shows one child asking someone to “please, stop” while another grabs at them.
The boys playing the bullies laugh as they harass and assault the other actor, playing the victim of their bullying. They even pour a beverage all over his tray at one point.
Shots show restaurant-goers visibly reacting to the scene as it unfolds.
The video then cuts to a Burger King employee in front of a Whopper Jr. He says, “You think you’re special,” before smashing it with his fist. He then wraps the burger and serves it to a customer. This process was repeated, as multiple customers come forward to complain about their meal.
Each instance of a damaged burger coincides with acts of bullying, as people heading to the counter to complain about their meal are shown walking past the children.
When the burgers are brought forward, the employee asks, “Did you order it bullied or unbullied?”
A manager’s presence is requested, and the manager and employee have a quick dialog. The manager asks, “Did you bully this burger?” to which the employee replies, “Well, yeah.”
The employee continues saying, “This is a defenseless Whopper Jr. It can’t defend itself.”
Then, the manager chimes in, “I don’t mean anything by it. It’s just for laughs.”
The customers, some of which express their confusion while another states, “Just give me my f***ing burger man,” and a third asks the employee, “Is there something wrong with you?” after he smashes the Whopper Jr. with his fist again.
The PSA then shows the statement: “95% of customers reported the bullied Whopper Jr.”
One of the customers is asked by the employee, “Had you seen me bullying this burger, would you have stood up and said something?”
“Yeah,” replies the man.
The ad then displays the sentence: “12% of customers stood up to the High School Jr. being bullied.”
A woman is then seen asking the bullied child if he’s okay and moving from her table to confront the bullies. When the bullies say they are “just having fun,” a male customer asks the victim if he’s having fun, and then says to the bullies, “He’s not having fun. So, therefore, I think you guys should just leave him alone.”
After the encounter, the man said, “To feel defenseless, that’s one of the worst things in the world.”
The video then shares other stories of people standing up for each other, and the ad encourages viewers to “help stop bullying.”