‘The Office’ characters ‘would be canceled’ in 2022


Watercooler conversation isn’t what it used to be.

Mindy Kaling, writer and star of “The Office,” recently claimed that the bingeable sitcom couldn’t be made in today’s politically correct climate — because it’s “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,” Kaling, 43, said during a recent interview on “Good Morning America.”

“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 fearlessness about it or taboo that it talks about,” the New York Times best-selling author added.

The American version of the workplace comedy, based on the British series of the same name, aired from 2005 to 2013 on NBC. Led by cringeworthy regional manager Michael Scott (Steve Carell), the series follows the daily life of the charismatic employees of Dunder Mifflin, a fictional paper company. It also stars John Krasinski, Jenna Fischer, B.J. Novak and Rainn Wilson, among others.

Actors (from left) Kate Flannery, B.J. Novak, Leslie David Baker, Mindy Kaling, Steve Carell, Phyllis Smith, Paul Lieberstein, Jenna Fischer, Angela Kinsey, Brian Baumgartner and Rainn Wilson in a 2006 episode of “The Office”
©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collectio
Mindy Kaling and BJ Novak in the finale of "The Office" in 2013.
Dunder Mifflin employees Kelly Kapoor (Mindy Kaling) and Ryan Howard (B.J. Novak) in the finale of “The Office” in 2013
©NBC/Courtesy Everett Collectio

On reflection, the show is guilty of comments that would not fly in 2022, including problematic jokes about characters’ various ethnicities and sexual orientations. Themes of workplace and sexual harassment, such as icky remarks made about Stanley Hudson’s (Leslie David Baker) young daughter, couldn’t be repeated for today’s audiences.

Kaling portrayed the bubbly, boy-crazy Kelly Kapoor in all nine seasons of the show. When asked what her character would be up to in a present-day reboot of the series, she replied, “I think she would have quit Dunder Mifflin to become an influencer, and then probably be canceled, almost immediately. Actually, most of the characters on that show would be canceled by now.”

After her “GMA” appearance on Friday, the Tony Award-winning producer of “A Strange Loop” poked fun at co-anchors Amy Robach and T.J. Holmes’ alleged affair on Twitter.

“Good Morning America is trending because of my appearance on it, right?” Kaling joked.

“The Office” is currently available for streaming on Peacock.

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