Though The Office is a comedy through and through, there are many emotional moments and romances to root for. And there’s no couple more associated with the show than Jim Halpert (John Krasinski) and Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer).
Viewers were so invested in Jim and Pam’s relationship when The Office was airing that there really was no other choice but to have them end up together—though that wasn't always the plan. And even though they’re in a great place by the show’s finale, the rough patches they go through are hard to watch for diehard fans. Both characters were criticized for choices they made throughout the show’s run, and even the actors faced backlash.
As such, it makes sense that when Krasinski was presented with a scene that would seriously damage Jim’s relationship with Pam, he refused to do it. According to Uproxx, the 42-year-old actor contributed to a newly released book, Welcome to Dunder Mifflin: The Ultimate Oral History of The Office. In the book, he recalls the one time he remembers “putting [his] foot down”—when Jim was supposed to kiss Cathy Simms (Lindsey Broad).
“I remember saying things that I never thought I’d say before, like, I’m not going to shoot it,” Krasinski writes, adding:
“My feeling is there is a threshold with which you can push our audience. They are so dedicated. We have shown such great respect to them. But there’s a moment where if you push them too far, they’ll never come back. And I think that if you show Jim cheating, they’ll never come back.”
Fans will remember Cathy as Pam’s temporary replacement at the office in season 8. She quickly forms a crush on Jim, and doesn’t try to hide it. By the episode “After Hours,” she has a full plan to try and seduce Jim; fortunately for fans, it doesn’t work.
Broad received backlash for her role in The Office, and the actress confirmed in a tweet in 2020 that she still gets a lot of unfair hate. Jim cheating on Pam certainly would’ve changed things on The Office, and could have even affected the show’s viewership. Creator Greg Daniels thinks differently, however, explaining:
“I feel like that kind of worry was good in terms of the fans’ engagement. I think they knew what was coming. They were very comfortable with the show they were getting, and I needed to worry them that maybe I was going to give them a bad ending so they were happy when they got a good ending.”
At the end of the day, Krasinski, of course, got his way.
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