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Movies & TV

07th Aug 2023

US Office star returns fan donations after spinoff series plans stall

Simon Kelly

The Office

“Did I stutter?”

Leslie David Baker, better known as Stanley Hudson on The US Office, announced on social media that he is returning all of the donations fans sent through Kickstarter for his proposed spinoff series, Uncle Stan.

The exact donation total being returned is $110,629.81, Baker stated.

The reasons cited behind the stall are the ongoing Hollywood writers and actors strikes, as well as covid interruptions.

Uncle Stan was supposed to centre around the grumpy former Dunder Mifflin employee as he comes out of his retirement in Florida and travels to Los Angeles to help his nephew save a fledgling motorcycle/flower business.

US Office spinoff stalled due to ongoing strikes

“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.”

Since it had been over three years since the fundraiser was first started by Baker, fans started to question what the actor was doing with the money, which prompted him to release the statement.

Baker said he and his team thought it was “the best course of action” to return the money to those who donated.

The campaign earned $336,450 out of its goal of $300,000 from 1,640 by the end of its run.

The 65-year-old also noted that despite the difference in the overall amount raised and returned money, “a large portion of backers’ pledges were lowered, or completely dropped and never collected,” so the money returned represented exactly that of what was received.

Baker appeared in every season of the US Office’s 9-season run, becoming a fan favourite for his grumpy, no-nonsense behaviour towards other characters.

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The US Office