Books, podcasts, and gargantuan streaming deals have managed to keep the flame for The Office sufficiently lit since the series wrapped over seven years ago. While many of its fans are content recirculating countless memes and digging into their 70th rewatch, a more toxic section of the fandom continues to harass some of the show’s marginalized stars. Just recently, late-arriving guest star Lindsey Broad shared some of the messages of vitriol she still receives after playing Cathy, the scheming co-worker who attempted lure Jim Halpert into an affair. “If anyone is wondering what it was like to be on The Office, the best comedy of this century: I just posted something on Instagram about how my dog was murdered and a bunch of people were like ‘Fuck you, Cathy, she deserved it’,” Broad tweeted. “So. There ya go!”
Leslie David Baker, who played Stanley Hudson on the long-running series, had his own run-in with toxic fans this week after announcing a spinoff series for his character. The actor initiated a Kickstarter campaign in July in order to raise funds for the comedy, which follows the former paper salesman after his retirement. When Baker informed fans of the campaigns success, he was immediately met with racist messages, one of which he shared in an effort to emphasize just how pervasive racism is. “For those of you who don’t believe racism is still alive in the world… here’s the proof,” Baker wrote via Instagram. “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 [sic] art or Black people. Enough said.” Baker then posted a partially censored version of the message, which is rife with racist slurs and upsetting images of lynchings all for the sake of saying, verbatim, “you won’t get any of my white dollars.”
Instagram appears to have removed the user from its platform and Baker is seemingly moving forward with the project titled Uncle Stan. As of now, Baker and producer Sardar Khan are planning to shop the series to potential networks and streamers. According to the synopsis, the series follows Stanley after he is called to Los Angeles to help his favorite, recently widowed nephew with his children.
Looking for ways to advocate for Black lives? Check out this list of resources by our sister site Lifehacker for ways to get involved.