Don't miss the latest stories
‘The Office’ Pulls Blackface Scene To Reaffirm Intolerance For Bad Work Culture
By Mikelle Leow, 29 Jun 2020
Video screenshot via The Office
Brands and producers are beginning to own up as possible catalysts for persistent racist stereotypes following Black Lives Matter protests. Stepping up are the makers of The Office, who have now erased a tone-deaf scene to discourage “unacceptable” corporate conduct, as it claims to always have done.
The clip from Dwight’s Christmas, the holiday episode of season nine, showed Rainn Wilson’s Dwight being placed in charge of planning for Dunder Mifflin’s festivities that year. Consistent with his character, Dwight touted the traditions of German folklore character Bersnickel. This intrigued Oscar (Oscar Nunez), who looked into the story and found that Bersnickel would often be accompanied by a slave boy named ‘Black Peter’. The aide is historically depicted in blackface.
The Black Peter role was assigned to Nate (Mark Proksch), who quickly regretted putting on dark makeup after receiving a text message from Dwight revealing that employees of Dunder Mifflin had stressed the portrayal was offensive.
The edited scene simply shows Dwight refuting about the gesture being racist, only to send out the text message to Nate following repeated probes. Nate appears with traces of the blackface makeup, most of it already cleaned off.
The sitcom’s creator Greg Daniels reiterated in a statement to TheWrap, “The Office is about a group of people trying to work together with mutual respect despite the inappropriate actions of their boss and assistant manager,” describing that the long-running show had used satire to “expose unacceptable behavior and deliver a message of inclusion.”
”Blackface is unacceptable and making the point so graphically is hurtful and wrong,” he detailed about the deleted scene. “I am sorry for the pain that caused.”
[via Comicbook, cover image via The Office]
More related news
Also check out these recent news