The Office Wouldn’t Fly in 2018, But Here’s Why It’s Still Important

The television show The Office, while still wildly popular and constantly streamed, would admittedly have no place on modern television. It’s chock-full of crude, ignorant jokes from the very start, with the episode "Diversity Day" delivering the tone that would be set throughout later seasons.

Credit: Decider

Michael Scott, in this episode, acts as the epitome of an ignorant American by forcing everyone to reinforce and identify stereotypes associated with different types of people —Scott believes that he is informed, but is actually the opposite.

His words and actions could potentially be considered offensive, as he is not always reprimanded for his actions, and for the most part, he passes as likable. We, as viewers, believe in his intentions.

Credit: Uproxx

But, in our current world, intentions cannot back offensive actions. It is our job, as citizens, to both know and reinforce respect towards everyone.

Michael Scott fails to do that, time and time again, and constantly harasses everyone around him, displaying offensive behaviors. His actions are rarely discussed in depth and, although he is often ridiculed by his employees, no serious action is ever taken against him.

So, how are we supposed to accommodate The Office into our current lifestyles? How are we still supposed to enjoy it?

We can look at the show as an example of what not to do. Many elements in the series are highly satirical, exaggerating situations in order to be clear on what is right or wrong. Yes, Michael as a character may be highly problematic but, the show doesn’t have to be. We may feel angry at Michael, find him offensive or ignorant, but his actions are significant to how people truly do react, and also to how people shouldn’t react. Satire can be extremely powerful, and if during the time The Office aired, it wasn’t obvious, it should be now. Michael was meant to be funny in a regressive way, but his actions are meant to form progressive thoughts in our minds.  

Life imitates art, and, in turn, art imitates life: it is possible to look at works in different lights as time goes on.


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