Late last month, Uncle Stan reached its funding goal on Kickstarter. The crowdfunding campaign for the pseudo-spin-off of The Office raised over $300,000 in order to have the necessary funding to film a pilot episode. Once that's produced, Leslie David Baker (you know him as The Office's Stanley Hudson ) and his business partner — Hollywood producer Sardar Khan — plan on shopping it to potential networks and streaming platforms. As the campaign starts winding down to its official deadline later this week, all things should be joyous for those involved with the production...but it's not.
Baker, Khan, and the team behind Uncle Stan have been battling horrendous, racially-charged comments and direct messages from critics of the campaign. In an Instagram post on Monday, Baker posted one of the messages and a pair of comments he's received through various social media platforms, each comment growing more horrific than the last. While a few words here and there are blurred out in Baker's post, it's won't take you long to see just what makes the comments particularly disgusting.
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For those of you who don’t believe racism is still alive in the world... here’s the proof. Our goal has simply been to entertain and give the fans a quality series. These rants are evidence that there is still a great deal of work that needs to be done here in America regarding racism. Bigotry and hate will not be allowed to irradicate art or Black people. Enough said.
"All is not well in America. America has a very sick problem with racism and racists," Baker told ComicBook.com during a Zoom chat Tuesday afternoon. "And as an actor, we're often told, 'Oh yeah, people love as long as you're there to entertain them and make them smile and laugh and giggle.' But the moment you talk about how people who look like me, black people, are treated, then all of a sudden people get uncomfortable, and they start squirming and wiggling, and saying, 'Oh no, it's not that bad.'"
He added, "Of course, it's not that bad when you deny that it exists, it's never that bad. When people don't want to acknowledge it, then that means they don't want to accept responsibility for their silence and not acknowledging it and not getting rid of it, not eradicating it. So it's very easy to sit there and go like, 'Everything's fine, everything's fine,' Everything is not fine.'"
Moving forward, Baker says he's going to keep the comments up on his profile.
"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," the actor concluded. "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 exists, which is no such thing. Nothing like that exists."
For more information on the Uncle Stan Kickstarter, you can visit the crowdfunding page here.
Cover photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic