‘The Office’: Comedy Central Removed This Episode From Its Lineup
These days, movies and TV show episodes are often pulled from streaming services or TV networks when their content is seen as harmful or insensitive. Comedy Central recently sparked controversy by removing an episode of The Office from its rotation during a weekend marathon. Many fans were upset that the episode was left out. Some felt that it was due to “cancel culture” and that people were missing the point of the episode.
Which episode of ‘The Office’ did Comedy Central remove?
Newsweek reports that Comedy Central left out the episode “Diversity Day” during a weekend start-to-end marathon of The Office. In the episode, a representative from Diversity Today holds a meeting at the office due to Michael Scott’s frequent recitations of one of Chris Rock’s stand-up routines.
Michael, in turn, holds his own diversity training. He guides his employees in a ridiculous exercise where they tape index cards labeled with different ethnicities to their foreheads. As usual, Michael is wildly inappropriate in this episode. He even does an impression that’s so offensive it earns him a slap in the face from Kelly Kapoor.
Fans were upset about the episode removal
Many fans were upset that Comedy Central omitted “Diversity Day.” They felt that “canceling” the episode was missing its whole point. One fan tweeted, “‘Diversity Day’ is one of my favorite episodes. The entire show is based on a character who is oblivious to political correctness of any sort.” Another fan commented, “You cannot cancel The Office ‘Diversity Day’ episode… the whole point is to mock the companies that make s***** attempts to boost diversity.”
Steve Carell’s character Michael Scott is notoriously ignorant and offensive. Arguably, that’s the whole point. Still, even Carell doubts that a show like The Office could be made today. “The climate’s different. I mean, the whole idea of that character, Michael Scott, so much of it was predicated on inappropriate behavior,” he told Esquire. “I mean, he’s certainly not a model boss. A lot of what is depicted on that show is completely wrong-minded. That’s the point, you know? But I don’t know how that would fly now.”
Carell continued to explain why The Office wouldn’t work today. “There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today—which is good, for sure,” he told the outlet. “But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.”
Was the ‘Diversity Day’ episode of ‘The Office’ canceled?
It’s important to note that Comedy Central has not confirmed that it purposefully left out “Diversity Day” due to pressure from cancel culture. As Snopes points out, “Diversity Day” is not the only episode that gets skipped when Comedy Central plays marathons of The Office. For example, holiday episodes are often left out of the lineup. The outlet proposes that although it’s a stretch, perhaps the network mistook “Diversity Day” as a holiday episode.
Other shows have had their content censored
TV networks have removed episodes from other popular comedy shows as well. Newsweek reports that Comedy Central has stopped showing specific episodes from both Seinfeld and South Park. Disney+ has also removed movies including Dumbo, Peter Pan, Swiss Family Robinson, and The Aristocats from its Kids Profile. The platform explained that it did this because young children might not be able to read the content advisories added at the beginning of the films.
For now, “Diversity Day” is still available on the streaming service Peacock TV.