The Office actor Leslie David Baker refunds donations for the Stanley spin-off series, which raised over $300K on Kickstarter.

The Office, Stanley spin-off

You may have forgotten that there was once a spin-off of The Office in the works which would have focused on Stanley Hudson, the grouchy salesman played by Leslie David Baker. What’s more, Baker actually got the ball rolling on the spin-off himself by announcing a Kickstarter campaign in 2020, but after three years of delays due to COVID-19 and the ongoing WGA and SAG strikes, the actor revealed that he will be returning the money raised for the series.

The Office spin-off, titled Uncle Stan, would have followed Stanley as he reluctantly came out of retirement to help his nephew raise his two kids and run a motorcycle/flower shop in Los Angeles. The Kickstarter campaign started with a goal of bringing in $300,000 and concluded with $336,450 in donations, but after three years, some backers started to wonder if they had been scammed.

We apologize about the delay in updates,” Leslie David Baker wrote in a statement on Instagram. “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.”

Baker continued, “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. As you are all aware, SAG is now on strike and we will continue to be on hold indefinitely until an agreement is reached.” The actor added that all backer rewards will still be fulfilled along with a full refund. The total amount to be refunded comes to $110,629.10. As for the discrepancy between the refund and the donations, Baker explained that a “large portion of backers’ pledges were lowered, or completely dropped and never collected once the campaign was completed.” He still intends on making Uncle Stan once the strikes are over, but felt that refunding the money was the best thing to do at this stage.