The Office premiered 20 years ago today on BBC Two. The influential mockumentary sitcom would turn co-creator Ricky Gervais into a comedy mega-star (only famous people get to duet with evil Kermit) and inspire an American adaptation that’s still ridiculously popular, despite ending eight years ago. But would The Office get made in 2021? That was a question posted to Gervais, who played oafish manager David Brent, in regards to political correctness during a 20th anniversary retrospective with BBC:
“I mean now it would be canceled. I’m looking forward to when they pick out one thing and try to cancel it. Someone said they might try to cancel it one day, and I say, ‘Good let them cancel it. I’ve been paid!'”
Gervais later clarified his meaning on Twitter. He was ‘aving a laff.
“Just to be clear, I did not say The Office would be canceled if it were made today. That makes no sense. It’s still around. This is my actual quote. ‘Someone said they might try to cancel it one day, and I said, ‘Good, let them cancel it. I’ve been paid!’ Clearly a joke,” he wrote. Gervais was also asked by one of his Twitter followers if he would leave in the “same material” from the original series if it was made today. The five-time Golden Globes host replied, “There are even more ridiculous things to ridicule these days.”
Just to be clear, I did not say The Office would be cancelled if it were made today. That makes no sense. It's still around. This is my actual quote. "Someone said they might try to cancel it one day, and I said, 'Good, let them cancel it. I've been paid!'" Clearly a joke.
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 9, 2021
Stephen Merchant, who co-created The Office with Gervais, did not comment on cancel culture, but he did tweet about Spider-Man doing an Office parody. For that, I respect him.
— Stephen Merchant (@StephenMerchant) July 9, 2021