"Diversity Day," one of the most controversial episodes from NBC's hit series "The Office," has been quietly deleted by Comedy Central.
Fans of the celebrated comedy series who were watching a recent Sunday marathon on the channel noticed that "Diversity Day," the second episode of the first season, was taken out from the rotation without any disclaimer, reports Newsweek. The politically incorrect episode had shown its ignorant and eccentric protagonist Michael Scott forcibly taking charge of the company's diversity day, even though it was his behaviour that necessitated the drive.
The character portrayed by Steve Carell, who had a massive improvement after the feedback the show received in its pilot season, was often shown to be well-meaning but unaware of his racist actions. In the said episode, he speaks in an exaggerated Indian accent and reprises Chris Rock's notorious stand-up routine about different kinds of black people in a misguided attempt to promote diversity. When he delivers a racist impression of an Indian person to the office's customer service representative Kelly Kapoor, played by Mindy Kaling, she takes offence and slaps him.
The episode received a 2.7/6 in the Nielsen ratings among people aged 18–49. It garnered 6.0 million viewers overall, and lost almost half of its audience from the previous week. However, the episode had received positive reviews from television critics.
The episode, which originally aired on March 29, 2005, had been a topic of discussion in the past few years facing renewed criticism. After its removal from Comedy Central, it has joined other episodes from NBC shows like "The Puerto Rican Day" from "Seinfeld" and five controversial episodes depicting religious figures from "South Park."
Fans of the mockumentary fear that there are several other controversial episodes in "The Office," like its season 3 episode "Women's Appreciation," that could be the next to face the axe. "It was only a matter of time. Just wait until they get to the episode where Michael dons an Afro wig to mock Darryl. There will no doubt be riots," tweeted Daily Caller contributor Bradley Stein, adding the hash tag "#BuyTheBoxSet."
Another Twitter user wrote, "You know the world is coming to an end when they start cancelling episodes of the office. It truly is the only thing holding me together at this point."