NBC’s workplace comedy The Office is reportedly coming back to TV with a new show, but the original program’s star, Steve Carell, thinks it won’t work. He told Esquire that “the climate’s different” today, and that the attitude, characteristics, and style of his character, Michael Scott, might not go over well today.
“Apart from the fact that I just don’t think that’s a good idea [to bring back The Office], it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted ten years ago,” he said. “The climate’s different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior.”
Michael Scott was written to be an idiot. Throughout the show, he makes numerous sexist and derogatory comments toward his co-workers. The show popularised the phrase “That’s what she said,” after all. Michael Scott being out-of-touch and kind of a jerk is the point, Carell said, but this attitude probably wouldn’t fly in 2018.
“I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss,” Carell said of Scott. “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.”
The Office, which is a spinoff from the British show created by Ricky Gervais, ran for nine seasons from 2005-2013. NBC has said it is considering bringing back The Office, as well as The West Wing, but never Seinfeld.
According to reports, the new version of The Office will feature a combination of returning cast members and newcomers. Carell and the character Michael Scott won’t be back, and instead there will be a new boss. Once again, it would take place at Dunder Mifflin’s office in Scranton, PA.