An intense debate between millennial media members and the cast and producers of a new CBS comedy series, The Great Indoors, occurred during the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills.
The Great Indoors is about an “adventure reporter [who] must adapt to the times when he becomes the boss to a group of millennials in the digital department of a famous outdoor magazine.”
Actor Joel McHale and CBS executive producer Mike Gibbons were previewing the new CBS series to reporters, and tensions ran high after Gibbons told a story about a CBS focus group.
Gibbons explained that a millennial focus group member, viewing the show’s pilot episode, was turned off by the portrayal of millennials as needing to be treated with kid gloves because of their thin skin.
Gibbons said the woman running the focus group responded to the criticism by saying, “So, you were offended by millennials being portrayed as too sensitive?”
Then, according to Deadline, a “Millennial Media Member” interrupted the focus group and grilled the panel of actors and creators, asking why the majority of the jokes maligned millennials.
“I’m a millennial myself. How are we so coddled, and what about our overly politically correct workplace bothers you?” the young reporter purportedly said.
Then, Stephen Fry, who plays the charismatic founder of The Great Outdoors magazine, said there is “an element of coddling” and “an element in which you have it tougher than the generation before.”
“Yeah, no sh*t,” the Millennial Media Member reportedly said in response to Fry.
The Millennial Media Member apparently wanted an answer from Gibbons, not Fry.
“A great example is how you interrupted my answer,” Gibbons fired back.
Promotional footage for The Great Indoors was released in May:
Gibbons informed the Millennial Media Member that when the focus group finished watching the show’s first episode, the millennial group member said he would watch the second episode.
“That’s because it’s about them,” Gibbons told the upset Millennial Media Member. “Millennials are very smart, and we have that in the show in spades, and they have a voice and that’s great. They will come back if it’s about them.”
Another older reporter asked Gibbons if he was “worried” that the show would be viewed as a “middle-aged white guy complaining about his lot in life and having to deal with millennials.”
“Our show is going to make America great again,” Gibbons responded.
“So you are the Trump show?” the reporter asked. “I’m just seeking clarification.”
“Irony comes through in print, right?” Gibbons joked.
“Do you want millennials to watch your show?” another Millennial reporter asked. “Cause you come out here and, ‘Ha, ha, ha, millennials are so sensitive and PC.'”
The show’s co-star Joel McHale chimed in and said if the show offends millennials, then it’s “the best strategy ever.”
Follow Jerome Hudson on Twitter: @jeromeehudson.