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In the teaser for Reboot — Steve Levitan’s upcoming show-within-a-show comedy for Hulu — a writer character played by Paul Reiser is surprised to see how many persons of color populate the writers room for a rebooted sitcom. Among other things he questions is whether there are any “Eskimos” on staff.
How Hollywood grapples with changing norms and increased inclusivity is just one topic Levitan hopes to address in his new meta comedy premiering Sept. 20. The single-camera laugher, which also stars Keegan-Michael Key, Johnny Knoxville, Judy Greer, Rachel Bloom, Calum Worthy and Krista Marie Yu, follows Hulu (yes, Hulu) as it reboots a family comedy from the 2000s. Actors from the original return to reprise their roles.
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“I know a lot of people in comedy think the pendulum has swung too far, being politically correct and woke and all that,” Levitan told reporters today at the Television Critics Tour. “We are all so afraid, people are so ready to cancel somebody with one perceived misstep. I find that a fascinating time we are in. We are all trying to manage the ‘what can you say, what can’t you say, what’s wrong with that, how is that offensive.’ The whole interesting part is how sacred a writers room needs to be. People need the freedom to explore and say things … It reflects the time we live in and more to the point, the times we work in.”
“It’s really fun representing the old school,” added Reiser, whose character, Gordon, created the old show that is currently being rebooted in Reboot. “My character is walking into this cold. Maybe don’t do Eskimo jokes. That’s a really funny area to me. The generational thing is so clear. Here are young people and here is the old guard. These are struggles everybody has. I can’t say that? What can I say?”
Levitan serves as an executive producer alongside Danielle Stokdyk and Jeff Morton. Reboot is produced by Steven Levitan Productions and Twentieth Television.
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