Few television shows have seen the success of The Office. The workplace comedy built a loyal following almost immediately, but the original UK version's co-creator and star insists it wouldn't have had the same popularity had it been released today. According to Ricky Gervais, 2020 pop culture fanatics would've likely cancelled the show.
While speaking to IndieWire, Gervais reflected on the original show's run in Britain, which was on air from 2001 to 2003, and how his crude humor probably hasn't aged well with the masses. “I think now [The Office] would suffer because people take things literally,” the David Brent actor told the site. “There’s 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 explained. "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 shows, even including the American version of The Office, are censored in hopes of creating a more sensitive space in entertainment, Gervais isn't changing his tune. "I just don't care," he told IndieWire.