It’s hard to quantify the joy Leslie David Baker brings to fans of The Office in the iconic role of Stanley Hudson.
In an effort to bring more of that joy to fans and viewers, last month Baker launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise the funds for a pilot episode of Uncle Stan—an Office pseudo-spinoff about the character. Baker and his business partner, producer Sardar Khan, have since passed their goal of $300,000 to shoot the episode. They plan to shop the pilot to networks and streaming platforms after filming.
Unfortunately at a time when Baker should be celebrating this achievement and getting his creative juices flowing, the actor is sharing some disgusting messages from racist trolls reacting to the campaign.
“For those of you who don’t believe racism is still alive in the world...here’s the proof,” he wrote in an Instagram post where he shared screenshots. The messages, which you can read below, include Instagram DMs sent to Baker and comments posted on Kickstarter. The content is hateful and extremely disturbing, with one message including photos of a lynching.
The actor told ComicBook he intends to keep the messages on his profile to make people confront the bigotry.
"In order to affect change, you can't just press the delete button and pretend that it didn't happen or say, 'Oh, it'll go away,' If I press the reset button, press the delete button, wipe it off the screen, then everything is okay," he said. "America has done that too long and too often, because when you confront people and you acknowledge that these things are happening in this country, people say, 'Well, that makes me uncomfortable. I don't want to have that discussion. I don't want to talk about it.' Or they will scream that in some way it's reverse discrimination [that] exists, which is no such thing. Nothing like that exists."
The show Uncle Stan will have Baker playing the titular character following his retirement, when he gets enlisted by his nephew to help sort out his crumbling life.
"After enjoying his retirement in Florida, carving wood, enjoying the white sand beaches, and dancing to old disco, Uncle Stan (Leslie David Baker) gets a call from his nephew Lucky in Los Angeles asking for help with his two kids and running his motorcycle/flower shop," the Kickstarter reads. "With his business failing, his kids growing up without enough attention, and on the brink of losing his patience with the cast of characters he has working in the shop, Lucky is going to need all the help he can get from no-nonsense Uncle Stan."
Check out a clip promoting the Kickstarter below.
“Our goal has simply been to entertain and give the fans a quality series,” Baker wrote of the hateful comments. “Bigotry and hate will not be allowed to [eradicate] art or Black people. Enough said.”