Diversity in media, such as television, print or radio, has come a long way in American history. In the realm of television, some of the most watched nighttime shows attempt to be construed as diverse. Although without trying, those shows go too far and even go against the idea of diversity. This paper will answer three questions regarding the portrayal of diversity in a major media outlet, the television show The Office, more important the episode oddly named, “Diversity Day”.
The Office is a sitcom surrounding a fictional paper company named Dunder-Mifflin Paper Company. The show is shot as a single camera documentary, with some of the employees often looking directly at the camera, with some comments even made about the camera’s presence as if a documentary was taking place. The style of sitcom classifies the term diversity by mocking the very idea of diversity training, showing viewers how not to act. In the episode, Diversity Day, the company sends a third party to conduct “diversity” training to the Dunder-Mifflin employees, entirely due to Michael Scott, who is the manager of the office reenacting a Chris Rock comedy bit regarding how African Americans view one another, which was obviously offensive to the entire office (Rock, 1996). The facilitator of the training goes through the formalities of the class with the entire office just for the sake of the manager, whose actions forced corporate to conduct the training in the first place. Michael objects throughout and even proves how ignorant a person can be during the training and continues to create his own diversity training to teach the office how he has seen fit.
In addressing the diverse landscape of America, the show does portray what the work environment is made up, with a good mixture of cultures represented, including persons of African American, Indian and Latino backgrounds. The office does portray the typical Caucasian, and does a rather good job at mocking...