Leslie David Baker, the actor best known for playing Stanley Hudson on "The Office," is sharing some of the racist online abuse he says he has received since announcing his plans to star in a spinoff series to show the "great deal of work that needs to be done here in America regarding racism."
"For those of you who don’t believe racism is still alive in the world... here’s the proof," Baker wrote on Instagram on Wednesday, alongside screenshots of messages he says he's recently received. "Our goal has simply been to entertain and give the fans a quality series."
An Instagram spokesperson confirmed that the platform has since removed the account in the screenshot Baker posted for violating its policies, which ban hate speech and other language that targets private individuals based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, gender and gender identity and sexuality.
Baker launched a Kickstarter campaign in July to raise funds for a pilot episode of "Uncle Stan," an "Office" spinoff in which he'd reprise his iconic role. According to the description listed on the Kickstarter campaign, the series would begin with Stanley enjoying his retirement in Florida. In the pilot, the character would receive a desperate call from his nephew, Lucky, imploring him to help with raising his children and running his motorcycle shop in Los Angeles.
"When Lucky picks up his uncle at LAX in a motorcycle with a sidecar laden with flowers and no room for his luggage, Uncle Stan knows that he will be in for quite the adventure and challenge," the description says. "With his unique personality and business acumen that he has acquired over decades, Stan is sure to clash once or twice with the wild personalities that Lucky has working in the shop."
The Kickstarter campaign had surpassed its $300,000 goal by more than $40,000, money that will be used to fund casting, writer development and other aspects of production, per the fundraiser's description. The funds will also be used to "demonstrate fan base support," a requirement to gain eventual network backing.
Yet not everyone has responded positively to the project, as evinced by the messages Baker shared. One man appears to have told Baker he would not be donating to the Kickstarter campaign and accused Baker of "begging for money from hardworking white Americans."
The messages also included racial slurs and images of lynchings of Black people — thousands of whom were killed in this violent manner during the period between the Civil War and World War II, according to the Equal Justice Initiative, an Alabama-based nonprofit working to combat racial inequality.
"Bigotry and hate will not be allowed to irradicate [eradicate] art or Black people," Baker wrote on Instagram.
Baker did not immediately respond to NBC News' request for comment; however, he told ComicBook.com that he planned to keep the messages on his social media.
"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," Baker 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 reverse discrimination exists, which is no such thing."