The way Steve Carell sees it, Dunder Mifflin’s doors should remain closed indefinitely.
The Emmy-nominated actor, who starred in The Office for seven of its nine seasons, recently told Esquire that he doesn’t think the NBC comedy would work in today’s climate, despite rumblings of a potential revival at the Peacock Net.
“Because The Office is on Netflix and replaying, a lot more people have seen it recently. And I think because of that there’s been a resurgence in interest in the show, and talk about bringing it back,” Carell said. “But apart from the fact that I just don’t think that’s a good idea, it might be impossible to do that show today and have people accept it the way it was accepted 10 years ago.”
Carell specifically called out his Office protagonist, regional manager Michael Scott, who made inappropriate jokes about race and sexuality (among other things) in nearly every episode of the sitcom.
Though Carell said he tried to portray Michael as “a pretty complicated guy [with] a lot of different facets to him,” the actor acknowledged that Michael’s humor — and the humor of other characters on the show — likely would not be well-received in present-day society.
“So much of [Michael] was predicated on inappropriate behavior. 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?” Carell continued. “But I just don’t know how that would fly now. There’s a very high awareness of offensive things today — which is good, for sure. But at the same time, when you take a character like that too literally, it doesn’t really work.”
But several Office alumni have said they would gladly return to the show if it comes back, including Jim Halpert portrayer John Krasinski, who said in February that he’d “love to get that gang back together.”