The very thing that would likely keep “The Office” from being created in today’s culture is what keeps the irreverent sitcom so popular. That is, according to one of the show’s stars, it’s fearlessness.
Mindy Kaling, who portrayed go-getter Kelly Kapoor in the NBC comedy series, for which she also served as a writer, director, and executive producer, opened up about the show during a recent appearance on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”
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The 43-year-old celebrity said she would “maybe never” introduce “The Office” to her children because it is “so inappropriate now.”
“The writers who I’m still in touch with now, we always talk about how so much of that show we probably couldn’t make now,” said Kaling. “Tastes have changed, and honestly, what offends people has changed so much now. I think that actually is one of the reasons the show is popular, because people feel like there’s something kind of fearless about it or taboo that it talks about on the show.”
Asked to imagine where her character would be if “The Office” were still in production today, Kaling said Kapoor likely would have left Dunder Mifflin — the fictitious company at the center of the sitcom — to pursue a career as a social media influencer who would “probably be canceled almost immediately.”
“Actually,” she added, “most of the characters on that show would be canceled by now.”
While rumors of a possible reboot have swirled for years, the series’ lead star, Steve Carrell, who portrayed the beloved and hated boss, Michael Scott, has said he would never participate in a fresh version of the comedy, because it just wouldn’t be the same.
In 2018, Carrell told Collider he would pass on a reboot of “The Office.”
“The show is way more popular now than when it was on the air,” he explained. “I just can’t see it being the same thing, and I think most folks would want it to be the same thing, but it wouldn’t be. Ultimately, I think it’s maybe best to leave well enough alone and just let it exist as what it was.”
“You’d literally have to have all of the same writers, the same producers, the same directors, and the same actors, and even with all of those components, it just wouldn’t be the same,” Carrell continued. “So, no. But, I love the show. It was the most exciting time, and all of those people are my friends. We all love it. It was a special thing. It was a special thing before people thought it was a special thing. It was special to us, before other people started feeling that way. But, no.”
As for Kaling’s claims about cancel culture, many fans of “The Office” disagreed with her assumption the show would be a casualty of today’s climate.
One Twitter user joked, “This is true, it’s impossible to find reruns of the office anywhere bc of cancel culture.” Of course, the entire series is streaming on Peacock and was on Netflix for years before moving to the NBC platform in January 2021.
“Today’s young people would never accept ‘The Office,’ a show so inappropriate you can only find it by turning on Comedy Central at any time of day ever,” added writer Joe Berkowitz.
Of course, it should be noted Kaling admitted to the show’s enduring popularity, largely due to its irreverence. Her point seemed to be the show likely couldn’t be created from scratch in today’s cultural landscape.
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