Office Star BJ Novak has been pushed back by social media after claiming that graduating from Harvard is ‘the worst thing to have on a comedy CV’.
The actor is currently doing press for the release of his next film Revenge. He wrote, directed and starred in the new dark comedy which hits theaters Friday.
Ahead of the release, he split opinion on Twitter when a quote about his upbringing seemed to rub people the wrong way.
“I don’t like talking about it. I will but I don’t like,” Novak said The Boston Globe when the subject of his college came. Novak was a member of the Harvard comedy group Lampoon while attending Ivy League school before graduating from Harvard University in 2001.
“It’s the worst thing to have on a comedy resume, the worst“, Novak said. “Comedy is an overlooked profession. You speak for the underdog. You say what officials don’t say. But [Harvard] makes people think you belong in a different category. Or that you think you are.”
His comments raised eyebrows online, and many were quick to voice their opinions on the perceived perception of Novak.
“With no disrespect to BJ Novak, whose work I love, but a survey of TV writers’ rooms will tell you that a Harvard degree is pretty much the opposite of ‘the worst thing to have on a resume. of comedy,'” said The Boston Globes Kevin Slane. He goes on to suggest that maybe Novak was alluding to it actually being the worst “in terms of other writers/comedians talking about you behind your back,” but not for being successful in showbiz.
Journalist Lucy Huber agreed with Slane. “If Bj Novak thinks there aren’t hundreds of such talented people who never got a chance to see their work because they did NOT go to Harvard (and weren’t white and/or or a woman), he is wrong,” she said. .
Many argued that there were a number of comedy writers who had attended Harvard, and that wasn’t the “worst thing” as Novak suggested. Alumni who starred in the Harvard Lampoon include recent TV talents like Conan O’Brien, Michael Schur and Greg Daniels (co-creators of Office in the United States), Robert Carlock (30 Rock showrunner), Colin Jost (Saturday Night Live) and Alan Yang (co-creator of master of nothing).
Twitter user @allymayn pointed out that Novak also has a successful family history when it comes to writing. Her father William Novak was an author who wrote memoirs for Nancy Reagan and Magic Johnson, among others.
While many piled on Novak’s assertion that it’s hard to be a Harvard grad in comedy, others pointed out that The simpsons the writer’s room was known to be filled with Harvard graduates. “Best seasons for sure,” suggested comic book writer Erica Henderson.