Leslie David Baker Posted the Racist Responses to His ‘Office’ Spinoff Kickstarter
"Bigotry and hate will not be allowed to irradicate art or Black people."
Leslie David Baker, perhaps best known for playing Stanley Hudson on The Office, launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this summer to secure funds to produce the pilot episode for Uncle Stan, an Office-related spinoff revolving around Stanley and his nephew Lucky. Though Baker and Uncle Stan co-creator Sardar Khan raised the $300,000 needed for the pilot, the achievement was muddled by heinously racist comments posted to the Kickstarter campaign page.
“For those of you who don’t believe racism is still alive in the world...here’s the proof,” Baker captioned an August 10th Instagram post in which he shares some of the comments he received. “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.”
Baker added, “Bigotry and hate will not be allowed to irradicate art or Black people. Enough said.”
Warning: These messages are disturbing.
The messages are littered with hate speech, and one racist troll even sent Baker photographs of racially-motivated lynching and torture. During an August 12th Zoom meeting with ComicBook.com, Baker reiterated, "All is not well in America. America has a very sick problem with racism and racists.”
"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,'" Baker said on the Zoom interview. "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.'"
Baker said that when people refuse to acknowledge the racism that exists, that means they are refusing to accept “responsibility for their silence.”
As he told ComicBook.com, Baker plans to keep the comments on the Kickstarter campaign to force people to face racism firsthand.
"In order to affect change, you can't just press the delete button and pretend that it didn't happen,” he said.
"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."
If you’d like to support Baker and Uncle Stan, head over to the Kickstarter page to back the project.