The other day, I sat down to watch The Office, a comedy I had loved so madly for years and years of my life. Instead of laughing at Michael Scott's (Steve Carrell) exaggerated antics, though, I found myself cringing. During one of his stunts, Michael outed his colleague, Oscar (Oscar Martinez). The entire scene seemed like bullying and workplace harassment, not like humour. And yet: I knew, at one point in my life, I had thought this entire scene was funny — cringe-worthy, yes, but ultimately worthy of laughter.
One of the side-effects of being a "woke" millennial is that I can't consume entertainment the way I did back in, say, 2007. Storylines that I once completely glossed over now come off as offensive or shocking. And hey — losing the innocence with which I once watched movies is a good thing. In the future, with any luck, we can make comedies in which the jokes aren't made at the expense of an ethnic group. We can make rom-coms in which one love interest doesn't single-mindedly stalk the other. We can eliminate all traces of date rape from teen movies. Our eyes have been opened to numerous flaws, especially in the current climate where sexual predators and nonconsensual behaviour are being exposed almost daily.
Many of these films were ill-advised from the get-go. But others, you might have loved, once upon a time.