Angela Kinsey Asked Greg Daniels To Tone Down Angela’s Homophobia On ‘The Office’ In Jesus’ Name

The 'Office' star told Rainn Wilson about the time she refused to tell a joke on religious grounds
Angela Kinsey Asked Greg Daniels To Tone Down Angela’s Homophobia On ‘The Office’ In Jesus’ Name

In case it needs to be said, the opinions voiced by the characters on The Office don’t represent the viewpoints of their actors, even if they share the same name.

On the surface, Angela Kinsey and her most famous character, the conservative accountant and party planning autocrat Angela Martin on The Office, share a number of similarities beyond just their first names – both Angelas are devout Christians, both have a deep love of cats and both continue to find themselves drawn to Rainn Wilson over and over again throughout the years. However, Kinsey, who co-hosts the popular Office Ladies rewatch podcast with her co-star and close friend Jenna Fischer, doesn’t have that same aura of hyper-judgmental and occasionally bigoted negativity that characterized her most famous role – and, if Kinsey had her way, Dwight’s Angela wouldn't be that way, either.

Kinsey appeared on a recent episode of Wilson’s podcast Soul Boom, which is loosely centered around intimate conversations about spiritual matters, where she recalled the one time she pushed back on Scranton Angela’s sanctimony and small-mindedness despite the insistence of the Office writers that her character should be the cranky conservative voice of intolerance on the show. As Kinsey explained, when Michael outed Oscar as gay in “Gay Witch Hunt,” she refused to take the Lord’s name in vain and make a homophobic joke that invoked Jesus. 

Famously, the conflict in The Office's Season Three opener revolves around acrimony between Angela and Oscar after Michael thoughtlessly outs the latter as a gay man. Angela, whose deep Christian convictions and incorrigibly captious personality had been central to her character since Season One, immediately began treating Oscar like a leper – but not like those ones whom Jesus healed.

As bigoted as Angela's behavior in “Gay Witch Hunt” was, as Kinsey explained on Soul Boom, the original script was even worse for Dunder Mifflin's resident reactionary. “I do remember there was a particular storyline between Angela and Oscar, where Angela was being super judge-y," Kinsey said of the episode, "I never went up to Greg (Daniels) about any joke, but there was a joke at Oscar’s expense, and I went up to Greg and I was like, ‘I can’t.’”

“I just was like, ‘I don’t feel good about it; I don’t feel like that’s what Jesus represented to me,’” Kinsey said of the homophobic and heretical punchline, recalling, “(Daniels) was like, ‘OK.’ And he heard me, and he took the joke out. And the episode – it was ‘Gay Witch Hunt’ – had so many already. But that’s the one pivotal moment I remember being like, OK, this is feeling like a stereotype and very one-note. I feel like she has more depth than that.” Kinsey didn't say exactly what the offending line said, only that it involved Jesus and hatred in a combination that made her uncomfortable.

Kinsey, a lifelong Presbyterian, says that she has a “very warm, meaningful relationship” with her faith that doesn't call on her to ostracize her coworkers for their sexualities. Also, Kinsey's version of Jesus probably doesn't teach us that, if we pray enough, we can change ourselves into a cat person.


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