Leslie David Baker announced that he is refunding all donations sent by fans for a proposed spinoff centered around his Office character Stanley Hudson.
In an Instagram post shared Thursday, the actor revealed plans to refund the money received via a 2020 Kickstarter campaign for the proposed project called Uncle Stan. The show was aimed to center on a retired Stanley getting a call from his nephew who asks for help with his two kids and running his motorcycle/flower shop. The campaign launched at the time with a crowdfunding goal of $300,000.
“We apologize about the delay in updates,” Baker wrote in a shared statement with his business partner, Sardar Khan. “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.”
He went on to explain that initial project delays were “caused because of the COVID lockdowns.” And despite there still being an intent to make the show, the ongoing writers and actors strikes have now led the series “to be on hold indefinitely until an agreement is reached.”
“After careful consideration, we have decided to refund our backers,” he shared. He also assured to fulfill backers rewards “as a token of our appreciation for your support and patience.”
“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 this matter. We have remained in constant communication with our backers via direct messaging and rewards have continued to be fulfilled during this time,” the statement continued.
Though the Kickstarter campaign page showed a total funded amount of $336,450.53, Baker revealed that the exact donation amount to be returned is $110,629.81.
“A large portion of backers’ pledges were lowered, or completely dropped and never collected once the campaign was completed,” he explained. “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.”
“We sincerely apologize for any miscommunication or inconvenience during this campaign… Thank you for all your love and support,” the statement ended with.
Baker starred on the NBC sitcom as Stanley Hudson for nine seasons. In 2020, the actor began teasing a potential return of the character in a series of videos shared on his social media. “Yeah, I’m back,” he said in character as Stanley in one video. “And I’m going to need a cocktail if I’m staying.”
At the time, Baker thanked fans for their support in the campaign and shared that the goal was “to bring a high quality program and involve all of the fans that have been so very supportive” of his career, also adding, “Yes, this project is real, it is legitimate, and it will be a pleasure to bring it to you with your help.”