Ricky Gervais Says The Office Wouldn't Work Today—Here's Why
Few television shows have seen the success of The Office. The workplace comedy began building a loyal following almost immediately after its BBC Two debut in the summer of 2001, but Ricky Gervais—the show's original co-creator and star—insists The Office wouldn't have achieved the same level of popularity if it were released today.
While speaking with Times Radio, Gervais reflected on the original series's run, and how his sense of humor probably wouldn't be as widely accepted today. “I think [The Office] now would suffer because people take things literally,” Gervais, who played the cringe-worthy David Brent, said. “There are these outrage mobs who take things out of context. This was a show about everything. It was about difference, it was about sex, race, all the things that people fear to even be discussed or talked about now in case they say the wrong thing and they’re 'canceled.'"
Gervais went on to detail the caution many networks, including the BBC, are now taking when accepting scripts. "The BBC have gotten more and more careful and people just want to keep their jobs,” he said. "So people would worry about some of the subjects and some of the jokes, even though they were clearly ironic and we were laughing at this buffoon being uncomfortable around difference."
As more TV series, including the American version of The Office, are being edited and censored in an attempt to create a more sensitive space in entertainment, Gervais isn't changing his tune. "I just don't care," he said.