The Office: Approaching the Cancel Culture lane?
SAN DIEGO Not long ago, on a Sunday marathon of sorts, Comedy Central omitted “Diversity Day” from its sequential airing of “The Office.” When The Federalist sought an explanation for such conspicuous absence of a well-known episode, Comedy Central chose not to respond.
Barstool Sports was amongst the first to notice. Indeed, television listings corroborated the show’s pilot episode followed immediately by Episode Three, “Health Care,” skipping “Diversity Day,” which would have been Episode Two.
And so, evidence suggests that this was not an oversight, but a deliberate choice.
Perhaps Comedy Central, taking the temperature of the times, is doing its self-censoring as a means of avoiding potential trouble later from the WOKE cancel culture movement.
None of this should be a surprise.
A while back, Steve Carell, the star of The Office for seven years, offered what seemed like a warning of sorts that this might be coming. When asked about a possible Office return, he said:
“…apart from the fact that I just don’t think that’s a good idea, it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted ten years ago. The climate’s different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior. I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know? But I just don’t know how that would fly now. There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today—which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.”
Indeed, there are good reasons in their own right not to resurrect former television hits. They usually finish their run for a reason, and seldom is the retread a good idea.
However, that kind of artistic observation did not seem to be Carell’s primary concern. Instead, he was seriously questioning whether or not the original series, even in its fresh creative format, would have been able to pass today’s thought police litmus tests. I think we know the answer. Could we bring All in the Family back? No.
Like most comedies, laughing was the only goal of this award-winning critically acclaimed sitcom.
What I loved about The Office was its parody of reality shows. Since I can’t stand reality shows, seeing them made fun of is sheer delight!
I especially love those scenes where ordinary employees (played by believable actors) speak directly to the cameras, saying stupid things only to catch themselves, try to clean it up, and in the process, say something even more ridiculous!
For this television project, loaded with genius satire, producers of The Office created a small fictitious paper company as somewhat of an irony. After all, in the age of laptops and the Internet, paper as an industry, is in sharp decline.
Meanwhile, instead of the typical boss whom people fear and try to impress, Steve Carell’s Michael Scott was the boss who wanted to be loved. That singular boss who wanted his employees to be his friends, was a boss with zero boundaries, and a boss with zero self-awareness.
Far more potently, he was a boss who thought he was funny instead of offensive.
Michael Scott and his paper company (Dunder-Mifflin) existed in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Carell brilliantly portrayed Scott as an absolute moron.
This might remind us of another moron currently residing at Pennsylvania Ave, Washington D.C., who brags about being a working man from Scranton. But I digress… Why talk about genuine buffoonery when we can return to fictitious buffoonery?
Back to The Office…
“Diversity Day,” the early episode in question, was a clever and hilarious installment, setting the program’s tone. The story developed around an offensive race-based joke Michael Scott had told.
Corporate headquarters responded to some complaints by sending a “sensitivity specialist” to conduct a seminar at the Scranton branch. Unfortunately, the specialist pretended to need everyone at the local branch to sign a statement after attending his one-hour lecture.
In reality, Scott was the only one who needed to sign it.
The instructor made copies for the others so as not to embarrass Scott. But, of course, he says this to the “reality show cameras,” which, of course, blows the cover for whatever television audience will someday watch a day in the life of Dunder-Mifflin.
The episode made fun of racists. It did not promote racism! Michael Scott could not possibly have been set in a more negative light!
Unfortunately, creating a show that is anti-racist is not enough anymore.
We must watch like a hawk every piece of dialogue regardless of its purpose or humor. This truth is especially ironic when we remember that speaking against real racism has nothing to do with all that phony tiresome political correctness.
The WOKE/ PC movement finds racism under every pear tree. Meanwhile, when REAL racism is called out, it’s not considered WOKE. It may be true and appropriate, but it’s not considered WOKE.
Nonetheless, The Office was a hilarious sitcom.
How tragic that a network claiming to be about comedy is caving to the cancel-culture thought police, even if only through a preemptive self-strike. And it won’t stop with this one show or episode!
Take it from somebody who was an avid fan and who watches the re-runs constantly; there are far more “offensive” episodes than Diversity Day. So I wouldn’t be surprised if they eventually remove the entire series!
When will this garbage stop? Finally, we must all be able to laugh at ourselves and others.
My faith, Christianity, is made fun of constantly on The Office. Yet, I still love the show.
As a Christian apologist, I get frustrated when I hear Christians defend their faith without any logic. I get equally bothered with some Christian portrayals.
Be that as it may…
In a hilarious episode of The Office called “Fun Run,” Michael Scott talks to the camera, defending the existence of God.
“Does God exist? If not, then why do we have so many churches? And who is Jesus’ dad?”
One couldn’t ask for a stupider depiction of a Christian defending his faith. I did not get offended. I laughed…
Why? BECAUSE IT WAS FUNNY!!! When we can’t laugh anymore, we take ourselves too seriously!!!
They were making fun of one man and his lame argument. It was not a treatise about the reliability of Christianity in general.
Now, to be thorough on this point, they do have a regular character named Angela portrayed as a hypocritical Christian and (undoubtedly in the eyes of Hollywood elitists) a typical Christian.
The producers probably WERE trying to make a statement there.
I’m not too fond of that.
I still wouldn’t push to have them censored because I believe people are entitled to their opinions, even if, God forbid, the opinion is different than mine!
In its 9 year run, The Office showed many stories and scenes that clashed with my own Christian standards.
It’s time for more people to start speaking out.
Otherwise, there will soon be nothing left of our culture other than a tyrannical government which, among other things, outlaws laughter or creates the kind of environment where television networks, in the vein of Comedy Central, fearfully censor themselves.
Alas, the only funny thing remaining will be a picture more sad than funny, our President, mumbling, bumbling and stumbling his way through a so-called press conference.
-This is Bob Siegel, making the obvious – obvious.
The Federalists contributed to the hard news portions of this article.
A graduate of Denver Seminary and San Jose State University, Bob Siegel is a radio talk show host and popular guest speaker at churches and college campuses. Using various media, including seminars, formal debates, outdoor open forums, a one-person drama presentations. In addition to his weekly radio show (KCBQ 1170, San Diego)
Bob is a regular contributor for San Diego Rostra. In addition, Bob does a good deal of playwriting (14 plays & 5 collaborations), including the award-winning Eternal Reach. Bob has also published fiction and non-fiction books, including; I’d Like to Believe In Jesus, But… and a fantasy novel, The Dangerous Christmas Ornament.