Baker delighted fans with his awesome comedic timing, wry humor, and love for pretzels. Viewers love Stanley so much that Leslie David Baker has launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a pilot for a spinoff of The Office called “Uncle Stan.” The series would follow Stanley as he travels to Los Angeles to help his widowed nephew Lucky raise his children.
While many people were supportive of the project (the fundraiser has already surpassed its goal!), others have been downright hateful.
Leslie David Baker shared several screenshots on his Instagram page that showed a series of racist and offensive messages he received after starting the campaign.
You can see the post below. Fair warning: the messages sent to Baker include foul, racist, and derogatory language.
Here is what Leslie David Baker told USA Today about the experience:
We’re living in an age in time where there is this movement. We would have thought that these issues would have been rectified years, decades ago. They have not. As a matter of fact, they’ve gotten worse. You cannot fight racism and combat those types of stereotypical attitudes if you pretend that they don’t exist. All too often in America, people have been so concerned about being made to feel uncomfortable, because they aren’t confronted by racist behavior.
Baker also told the outlet that he hopes his Instagram post will demonstrate how the internet has changed how racism is presented. He added:
It’s not riding down the street in the hood with the burning cross, but instead it’s been replaced with the new technology. We think that the old photographs that we see of people being persecuted on the way to school in the South and trying to vote in the ’60s, we think that all of those people have died out. They haven’t died out. They got married. They had children. They had grandchildren, great grandchildren. But they took those beliefs with them, and in many cases, they have not altered those beliefs.
The actor said that some fans accused him of perpetuating racism by exposing the hateful messages he’s received. However, Baker thinks it’s important to speak up. He continued with:
That’s like blaming somebody who gets mugged for being mugged and daring to talk about it. If you’re on the receiving end of a racist diatribe, and then you pretend that it doesn’t exist, that does not help people learn from it. Racism doesn’t care whether or not you’re an actor on TV or if you won awards. This is something that faces minorities on any job, not just because they’re in show business.
Unlike the awful people who sent him those messages, I think Baker spoke about the situation with grace and dignity. I cannot express just how unfortunate it is that he has to deal with racism like this, but the fact that he is bringing it to people’s attention will hopefully allow some to better identify discrimination in their own communities.