Consider Michael Scott on permanent vacation from The Office.
Steve Carell, who played the character on seven seasons of the NBC comedy, has dismissed the idea of appearing on a reboot of the show, even though former cast member Jenna Fischer and the show’s executive producer, Stephen Merchant, have at least joked about the idea of a revival. Carell noted that a lot of people have seen the show recently because it’s been streaming on Netflix.
“A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know?” Carell told Esquire, while promoting his new movie, Beautiful Boy. “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.”
Carell actually left the show two seasons before it ended in 2013 to star in movies. By the time he did, his character had offended pretty much everyone, pretty much all the time. Scott was repeatedly racist, sexist, and homophobic — even his attempts at diversity training were offensive. He obnoxiously impersonated people of different races, told dirty jokes, and took his female employees to Victoria’s Secret, among many, many offenses. All of it was played for laughs at the time, but it doesn’t look at all the same in the era of #TimesUp and #MeToo.
“Apart from the fact that I just don’t think [a reboot is] a good idea,” Carell said, “it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted 10 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.”
Thanks to Carell, in its day, The Office won strong ratings and a number of awards, including four Emmys.
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