Fans noticed one glaring omission when it came to August 29th's Comedy Central's marathon of the popular NBC series The Office. The episode in question is season one's second in "Diversity Day", which satirizes contemporary diversity and inclusion policies. Boss Michael Scott, played by Steve Carell, organizes a racial diversity seminar forcing his Dunder Mifflin Paper Company employees to participate. Ironically, it's the aloof Michael who needs it the most engaging in inappropriate behavior reciting comedian Chris Rock's racial standup and doing a mock impression of an Indian accent.
While taking the episode out of rotation is nothing new, it's a slippery slope trend where networks and streamers have also taken out other controversial episodes from popular shows like South Park, The Simpsons, and Seinfeld. Among notable episodes missing from South Park are "Super Best Friends", the two-parter "Cartoon Wars", "200" and "201", which are also missing on streamers. The Simpsons took the season three premiere "Stark Raving Dad", which featured controversial pop artist Michael Jackson, out of any future release including any new physical media and its exclusive streamer home on Disney+. NBC temporarily pulled "The Puerto Rican Day" episode from syndication due to the controversial scene involving the unintended burning of the Puerto Rican flag.
The Office episode "Diversity Day" is still available to stream on the NBC Universal streamer Peacock. Sadly, some of the most iconic shows created that would confront prejudice through a non-politically correct lens would never see the light of day even if the offender always receives his/her comeuppance. Shows like All in the Family, Married with Children, or even the original incarnation of Night Court probably likely wouldn't fly due to the controversial nature of its most popular characters like Archie Bunker, Al Bundy, or Dan Fielding. So many are so afraid of triggering Cancel Culture, they're unwilling to confront the very issues that should be addressed.
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