Mindy Kaling ignited a spirited debate on social media this week after saying on “Good Morning America” that NBC’s “The Office” could not get made today because it’s “so inappropriate now.” The comment inspired “The View” hosts during the Dec. 7 episode to discuss other film and TV properties that some find too problematic for 2022. Whoopi Goldberg staunchly defended Mel Brooks’ 1975 satire “Blazing Saddles” against social media backlash claiming its satire is too racist and/or problematic to be accepted today.
“It deals with racism by coming at it right, straight, out front, making you think and laugh about it, because, listen, it’s not just racism, it’s all the isms, he hits all the isms,” Goldberg said (via Entertainment Weekly). “‘Blazing Saddles,’ because it’s a great comedy, would still go over today. There are a lot of comedies that are not good, okay? We’re just going to say that. That’s not one of them. ‘Blazing Saddles’ is one of the greatest because it hits everybody.”
“If you’ve never seen ‘Blazing Saddles,’ you should do yourself a favor, get some popcorn, get a glass of wine, and put it on, because it’s magnificent,” Goldberg added before telling the film’s critics: “Leave my ‘Blazing Saddles’ alone. Don’t make me come for you!”
“Blazing Saddles” is set in a small town on the American frontier in 1874 and centers on a newly-appointed Black sheriff who must oversee the problematic townspeople. Goldberg rejected claims that the film’s satirical humor is no longer acceptable today. “The View” co-host Sara Haines added that a “sacred space for comedians” should exist where they can work through potentially problematic issues.
Kaling said in her “Good Morning America” interview earlier this month that she often talks with her “The Office” co-writers about how the show could not be made in 2022. “Tastes have changed, and honestly what offends people has changed so much now,” she said. “I think that actually is one of the reasons the show is popular, because people feel like there’s something kind of fearless about it or taboo that it talks about on the show.”
When asked what her character, the pop-culture obsessed Kelly Kapoor, would be doing in a 2022 version of “The Office,” Kaling responded, “I think she would have quit Dunder Mifflin to become an influencer, and then probably be canceled, almost immediately. Actually, most of the characters on that show would be canceled by now.”