The Office actor gives back over $110,000 to fans who donated to help him make unmade spin-off
| Last updated
Featured Image Credit: Amanda Edwards/Getty Images/NBC
The Office (US) star Leslie David Baker is refunding more than $110,000 to fans who donated in the hope of helping him create a spin-off of the beloved sitcom.
I'm sure most fans of the Steve Carrell-led show would openly admit that they never get tired of re-watches, but when Baker offered up the chance for some new Office-style content, a lot of fans jumped at the idea.
The actor, who played the perpetually un-amused Stanley Hudson in the series, launched a Kickstarter in 2020 as he announced his plan to launch a spinoff titled Uncle Stan, focused around his own Office character.
Baker set a goal of $300,000 (£235,165) and managed to exceed what he'd set out to earn by raising $336,450 from excited donors.
Fast forward three years, and with no sign of Uncle Stan in sight, some fans took to social media to question where their donations had gone.
In response to the concerns, Baker released a statement to apologise for the silence surrounding the show.
Though the actor pointed out the delays to its production had been caused by 'circumstances beyond [his] control', he explained that he and the team involved in the spin-off had decided that refunding fans was the right thing to do.
“We apologize about the delay in updates,” Baker said. “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."
He continued: "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.
"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."
Baker went on to explain that the production would 'continue to be on hold indefinitely' until an agreement is reached in the strikes, and that the team 'stand in solidarity with those in the entertainment industry and will do our part in supporting WGA and SAG during these times'.
Baker stressed that the total amount actually received from the Kickstarter was $110,629.81 (£86,720) due to 'a large portion of backers’ pledges [being] lowered, or completely dropped and never collected once the campaign was completed'.
However, he explained that fans would be refunded for the money they did donate, saying: “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.”
Baker added that the donations given by fans were 'never used for any purposes other than reward fulfillment and backer refunds, and have otherwise remained accounted for and untouched in the account'.