Racial Implications and Stereotypes in the TV show “The Office” (US)
The Office (US) is a documentary style reality TV show that encompasses many elements that express offensive, crude humor, which is intended to comically stereotype race, gender, sexual orientation, and influence other societal norms that stem from a discriminating viewpoint. "The Office represents a diverse cast, but the show still reinforces gender and class stereotypes for the sake of humor…it’s “mockumentary” style allows for the success of satire when touching on exaggerated ideas reflective of actual societal issues” (Birthisel). These “jokes” more often than not create an additional tension between the boss Michael Scott and his colleagues in the office, Especially Stanley Hudson, the token black man that works in the sales department. Michael and Stanley have a very weird relationship, and this is made very clear throughout the series. The question I would like to pose is “ How does Michaels relationship with Stanley affect Michael’s relationship with the other characters on the show? Does his behavior influence the rest of the black community on the show”?
Michael’s unconscious racism and tactless behaviors can be seen throughout the episodes of each season. An example of this would be in Season 1 Episode 5 titled “Basketball”. In this episode, Michael and his “dream team” will play against Darryl and the warehouse workers to see who will come into work on the upcoming Saturday over a pick up