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26th Dec 2021

Mackenzie Crook says The Office couldn’t be made today

Simon Bland


‘He’s a bit of a monster actually, Gareth’

The Office star Mackenzie Crook has shared his thoughts on whether or not The Office could exist in today’s cancel culture climate.

Crook, 50, shot to fame by starring as the unrelentingly difficult, wannabe military-man Gareth in Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s iconic British sitcom which originally ran from 2001 to 2003.

The show has since gone on to become one of the most successful – and quoted – comedies of recent year, ultimately spawning a hugely popular American remake starring Steve Carrell.

Throughout the UK show’s two series and heartwarming festive two-parter, Crook’s character Gareth was responsible for some of the most outlandish, socially inappropriate and wholly outdated quotes.

Whilst speaking to The Independent about his return as sweet natured scarecrow Worzel Gummidge this Christmas, Crook was quizzed about his thoughts on the show, looking back – and he shared some interesting insights.

After revealing that he’d rewatching The Office recently for the first time since its debut 20 years ago, Crook admitted that “he’s a bit of a monster actually, Gareth.

“I didn’t remember him being quite so… urgh,” he continued. “The things he comes out with when he’s trying to chat up girls are diabolical.”

However he did provide some narrative context around some of Gareth’s most questionable behaviour and lines.

“Although a lot of it was based on cruel humour, the best bits are the bits that have so much heart and bring a lump to your throat,” he told the outlet. “Without those bits, it would have been just a bit relentlessly cruel.”

When asked if he thought The Office would be cancelled if it was released today – a claim that co-creator Gervais discussed just a few months ago before saying he was joking when he suggested that it would – Crook had this to say.

“I suppose it’s a document of its time. What we were portraying back then were things that were being said in an office environment, and people were getting away with it. So we were pointing it out – laughing at those people who were behaving so badly,” he reasoned. “But yeah, I don’t think those things could be said in a workplace anymore without somebody picking up on them. So no, you wouldn’t have it now in a comedy.”

As for whether or not it’d fall victim to cancel culture? “It was cringey at points but no, it didn’t need to be wiped out,” said the star.

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