If you’ve ever wondered what Michael Scott, Dwight Schrute, and the rest of the Dunder Mifflin employees would be up to today, Mindy Kaling has your answer... sort of. The former The Office star and writer recently claimed much of the show probably couldn’t be made in modern times, since most of the characters would be “canceled” for their “inappropriate” behavior. But reactions to Kaling’s comments — namely on Twitter — beg to differ.
Kaling confessed she doesn’t think The Office would fly if it was made in 2022 during her Dec. 2 appearance on Good Morning America. “Most of the characters on that show probably would be canceled by now,” Kaling said. “That show is so inappropriate now. The writers I’m still in touch with, we always talk about how so much of that show we probably couldn’t make now. Tastes have changed, and honestly what offends people has changed so much now.”
But of course, The Office still has a thriving fanbase today. As recently as 2020, it was the most-streamed show, per Nielsen ratings, and current celebrities like Billie Eilish are vocal about their fandom. But Kaling suggested the show remains so beloved not becuase it stands the test of time, but rather because it’s reminiscent of a different era. “People feel there’s something fearless about it, or taboo,” she said.
As quickly as Kaling made her claims, they became a trending topic on Twitter. Many disagreed with Kaling’s apparent framing of The Office as some kind of dark, edgy comedy, while also pointing out that several shows very similar to The Office are current hits, including fellow mockumentary sitcoms like Abbott Elementary and What We Do in the Shadows.
The prime example dissenters pointed to was It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. The outrageous comedy series premiered in 2005, the same year as The Office, and like The Office, it also focuses on morally reprehensible coworkers who get into sometimes offensive antics, to an even stronger degree than The Office. Many Always Sunny fans disputed Kaling’s claim that The Office couldn’t exist today by pointing out Always Sunny is still producing new episodes, with its 16th season expected to release in 2023.
Clearly, The Office fans are just as passionate about the series in 2022 as they were in 2005, and they aren’t planning to stop rewatching their fave comfort show anytime soon.