‘The Office’: Is the Cast Mad at Steve Carell for Leaving?

When The Office hit television in America, it became an instant hit. Fans fell in love with Michael Scott, and the actor who played the character, Steve Carell. But after seven seasons, Carell decided it was time to move on. The show carried on without him, but it was a big blow to everyone involved.

Here’s the story of a massively popular TV show, that lost its main character, and still managed to move on without him. 

Steve Carell
Steve Carell | Justin Lubin/NBCU

Why did Steve Carell leave ‘The Office’?

Carell was originally contracted to do seven seasons of The Office, but after the first season, his career took off. Suddenly, he was a highly demanded actor, receiving multiple movie offers. Instead of bailing on his contract early, Carell stuck around for the full seven seasons. But after that point, he felt it was time to move on.

About his move, Carell said, “It’s very much akin to when I left The Daily Show. I had a great job and good friends and a solid incomeā€¦ I just felt like if I’m going to leave, I better leave now before I get too comfortable. I figured it was time to try something else. You never know what might be on the other side.”

How did the cast of ‘The Office’ feel about Steve Carell leaving?

When asked about Carell leaving the show by TV Guide, executive producer, Greg Daniels said, “Early on, everybody renegotiated and they added a year to their contracts, but Steve didn’t. So everybody’s contracts went through Season eight except for Steve. So we knew very early on that he was going to leave at the end of season seven. He was very upfront about it and he didn’t play any games. Certainly, I was happy that he gave us seven years, considering that he became a huge movie star after Season 1 and he could have just made a ton more movies if he hadn’t been doing the show.”

The stars of the show had a lot to say on the topic as well. Angela Kinsey, who played Angela Martin, said, “He had talked to a few of us about it, because it’s not a decision you make lightly. I think he was really contemplating what it meant. He’s a very conscientious person. … It made sense for Steve and in what he thought was the evolution of Michael Scott and where Michael Scott had gotten to.”

Rainn Wilson, who played Dwight Schrute, said, “There were a lot of naysayers and haters who were just like, ‘Steve’s gone; the show is going to suck.’ It’s a tremendous blow to lose one of the funniest actors that has ever lived from your TV show, but at the same time, look at the ensemble.”

The general consensus seems to be that the cast of The Office was disappointed that Carell left. However, they also felt it was best for him as an actor. They remained hopeful for the future of the show. It doesn’t appear that anyone took it personally or was mad at Carell. In fact, they all wished him the best.

How did the fans react to Steve Carell leaving ‘The Office’?

Fans loved Michael Scott. They were disappointed, and The Office probably lost some viewers after Carell left. However, true fans of the show stuck it out and were rewarded with a show that carried on being just as funny as before.

We were also introduced to some great new characters. Without Carell, it made room for some of the smaller characters to shine. Like Andy Bernard, played by Ed Helms.

After Michael left, Andy stepped in as manager for Dunder Mifflin for a short time. Although he was a pretty terrible manager, we got some greats laughs out of it, and got to know his character a little better.

How about Erin Hannon, played by Ellie Kemper. While she was a small part of the group before Michael left. Once he was gone, it created room for her to really shine. She became a favorite of many viewers for her innocent naivete.

Even after Carell left, there were still some pretty great reasons to turn into The Office, like the Pam and Jim saga, or watching all the pranks Jim played on Dwight. We came to love all the characters, and Michael Scott was only one of those.

When Michael Scott returned for the series finale, it allowed for a bigger sense of closure. While the characters were given a chance to say goodbye at the end of season seven, it still felt like there was a hole in many viewer’s hearts. Once we saw him again, happy and married to Holly, it gave fans a better sense that things turned out the way they should have.