‘The Office’ Actor Is Giving Back $110,000 Worth of Fan Donations for Stalled Stanley Spinoff, Says Funds Were Never Used for Personal Matters

Leslie David Baker, who starred as Stanley Hudson on all nine seasons of NBC’s popular sitcom “The Office,” announced on social media that he is returning all of the donations fans sent it via Kickstarter for his proposed Stanley spinoff. The exact donation total being returned is $110,629.81, Baker said.

Back in 2020, Baker went viral for launching a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to create a spinoff of “The Office” centered around Stanley Hudson. The project, “Uncle Stan,” launched with a crowdfunding goal of $300,000. The show was to center around Stanley as he comes out of his retirement in Florida and travels to Los Angeles to help his nephew save a fledgling motorcycle/flower shop business. The campaign earned $336,450 from 1,640 by the end of its run.

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In recent weeks, some fans took to social media to question what Baker did with the money as his “Uncle Stan” show never got made in the three years since the Kickstarter campaign reached its goal. Baker then released a statement saying he was returning the donated money as the project remained stalled indefinitely following COVID delays and the ongoing strikes in Hollywood.

“We apologize about the delay in updates,” Baker wrote in a statement. “We have been working behind the scenes to get everything on track and rewards fulfilled. We are just as excited as all of you to get this project out and truly appreciate all of your patience and support. The project took longer than anticipated due to circumstances beyond our control.”

“Initial delays were caused because of the COVID lockdowns and pushed us back further than expected,” he explained. “As things started returning to normal and we commenced reward fulfillment and preproduction, the WGA strike was announced causing us to put things on hold again. As you are all aware, SAG is now on strike and we will continue to be on hold indefinitely until an agreement is reached. We stand in solidarity with those in the entertainment industry and will do our part in supporting WGA and SAG during these times.”

Although Baker still intends to make the show once the strikes are resolved, he is deciding to refund its backers while the project remains in indefinite hiatus. Additionally, Baker said Kickstarter fan rewards and perks will still be met.

“In light of the current economic situation, we felt that this was the best course of action,” Baker wrote. “You will receive a message notifying you of your refund as soon as it is issued and you can expect to receive it over the following weeks. We will also be contacting Kickstarter to facilitate expediting this matter. We have remained in constant communication with our backers via direct messaging and rewards have continued to be fulfilled during this time.”

“FYI, although the total funded amount shown on our Kickstarter campaign page was stated as $336,450.53, that was not the actual final amount we received,” he added. “A large portion of backers’ pledges were lowered, or completely dropped and never collected once the campaign was completed. The final amount that we received from Kickstarter was exactly $110,629.81. The funds were never used for any purposes other than reward fulfillment and backer refunds, and have otherwise remained accounted for and untouched in the account.”

Baker was a recurring cast member on the first season of “The Office” before being upped to a series regular role for the remainder of the sitcom’s run.

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