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'The Office' Star Speaks Out After Returning $110k In Fan Donations For His Spin-Off Series

Leslie David Baker released a statement on Instagram letting fans know why he's refunding their Kickstarter donations for his in-development spinoff series 'Uncle Stan.'

Leslie David Baker
Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

Back in 2020, The Office star Leslie Baker - a.k.a. Stanley Hudson - launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $300k to fund a spin-off of the NBC mockumentary.

The series, titled Uncle Stan, was to follow Baker's character Stanley living his dream retiree life in Florida before getting a call from his nephew Lucky in LA seeking help with his two kids and running his motorcycle/flower shop.

By the end of the Kickstarter campaign, the project had exceeded its goal, racking up $336,450 from 1,640 backers.

But now, in 2023, fans are beginning to question the status of the project.

Last week, Baker issued a statement via Instagram apologizing for delays and announcing he would be refunding donors who contributed to the project.

The statement read:

"We apologize about the delay in updates."
"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."

Baker attributed much of the delay to COVID and WGA and SAG strikes.

"Initial delays were caused because of the COVID lockdowns and pushed us back further than expected."
"As things started returning to normal and we commenced reward fulfillment and reproduction, 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.

The statement went on to announce donors would be receiving full reimbursement of their contributions while also receiving Backer rewards such as signed memorabilia and personal phone calls from the actor himself.

"In light of the current economic situation, we felt that this was the best course of action."
"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 the matter. We have remained in constant communication with our backers via direct messaging, and rewards have continued to be fulfilled during this time."

Baker also revealed that $110,629.81 would be refunded, varying greatly from the $346,450.53 initially raised on Kickstarter, explaining that the final amount changed due to donors lowering their pledges or withdrawing altogether.

He also noted that the funds from the campaign were used solely to fulfill rewards and refunds.

While many on social media commended the actor for doing the right thing...

... some wondered if the refunds were given because he started to get some heat on social media.

A few also wondered if perhaps the actor didn't have rights to use his Office character in the first place.

Baker concluded his statement by once again apologizing and confirming full refunds would be issued to backers.

He ended:

"Thank you again for all your love and support!"