Damon Lindeloff And Carlton Cuse, showrunner from the dramatic series lost (2004-2010) were singled out this week as alleged promoters of racism and toxicity during the production of the hit ABC show.
Such remarks are part of the forthcoming book Burn it downby author Maureen Ryan, whose excerpt focused on it lost was released ahead of time via Vanity Fair. There are testimonies from members of the cast and production team that Lindelof and Cuse “tolerated and even encouraged” a work environment that was often fraught with toxic and racist comments.
For example, there are statements that showrunner “They didn’t like colored characters” in lostOr that Lindelof, unconcerned with the unease that reigned in the writers’ room, insisted that writers had to be unhappy to be reliable and show genuine interest in a project. The forthcoming book also includes some of the Emmy winner’s responses to the allegations against him. And while he doesn’t accept absolute blame, he does admit that he has “failed” when it comes to providing “safety and comfort” to his employees.
Read below some key points of alleged racism behind the scenes of lost, says the fragment published this Tuesday. The book Burn it down will be fully released on June 6, 2023.
Preference for white actors
A screenwriter by lost explained that the writers were constantly told that the white characters Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Jack (Matthew Fox), Kate (Evangeline Lilly) and Sawyer (Josh Holloway) were the heroes and that the rest didn’t really matter. In this regard, it says in the same book by Maureen Ryan Harold Perrineauwho portrayed Michael Dawson for the first two seasons of the show expressed strong dislike for his white co-stars, who acted in the main subplots of ” lostand even had the chance to speak directly to a producer about this apparent favoritism with racist undertones. And in response, one such producer reportedly told him that “this is the way audiences follow the stories”; that in this case, Locke, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer were characters with whom it was easier to feel a “kinship.”
In that regard, Damon Lindelof endorsed the book Burn it down that there were always signs of disappointment from “every single actor” who felt they were underutilized on the show. But as for Perrineau’s complaints, this is it showrunner he accepted that they had a more serious background and agreed with them.
“Obviously Jack, Kate, Locke and Sawyer, the white characters, have been given disproportionate attention. Harold was absolutely right when he pointed this out. “It’s one of the things I’ve deeply regretted in the two decades since,” Lindelof said. “I think Harold legitimately and professionally expressed his concern for his character and the importance of Michael, Walt and Rose being the only black characters on the show.”
Departure of Harold Perrineau
Perrineau also stated that his sudden departure from lost This was announced by Carlton Cuse just before filming of the final episode of the second season began. At that point, the actor had already revealed to Cuse that he didn’t agree with some decisions surrounding his character, such as not being overly concerned about the disappearance of his fictional son. In Perrineau’s view, this “encouraged the narrative that nobody cares about black kids.”
Cuse would have preferred to sever working relations with Perrineau after the latter told him so showrunner “If they didn’t have anything good for him, he preferred to leave,” according to the actor’s version. On the other hand, Monica Owusu-Breenwho served as a writer for the third season of lostrevealed that Damon Lindelof went so far as to explain to the writing team that Perrineau’s departure was due to the fact that “he called me a racist, so I fired him.”
“Everyone laughed,” Owusu-Breen said of her teammates’ reaction. “There was a lot of shit, a lot of racist shit and then laughter. It was terrible. I thought, “I don’t know if they’re taking this as a joke or if they’re serious.” But it wasn’t funny. The [Lindelof] Say that was awful.
For his part, Lindelof told Maureen Ryan that he couldn’t remember saying that 17 years ago, but he also couldn’t explain why anyone would make that up about him. He added, “It breaks my heart that this was Harold’s experience.”
Toxic and racist comments
At the time of writing, the death of Eko Tunde (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) was in lostMonica Owusu-Breen shared that she had to deal with some racist suggestions from Carlton Cuse:
“Carlton said, ‘I want to hang it on the tallest tree. God, if only we could cut off his penis and stick it down his throat.’ At that point I said to him, “Maybe you should tone down the lynching footage so it’s not offensive.” And I was visibly upset.
About this and other inappropriate comments attributed to the duo showrunnerDamon Lindelof replied as follows:
“I just can’t imagine Carlton saying something like that. […] I have no recollection of these concrete things. And I’m not saying they didn’t happen. I’m just saying that it’s literally a mystery to me that they happened and that I saw or said them.
According to other testimonies referred to in the book Burn it downin the workspace of lost There were also times when the only Asian-American member of the writing team was referred to as “Korean” rather than by his real name. There were also those who said that “no grandparent would want a slanted-eyed grandson” when they learned from a classmate that he was adopting an Asian child.
“I deeply regret that anyone is present lost she had to hear [esos comentarios]. They are extremely insensitive, inappropriate and offensive,” Cuse said in a statement (via diversity). “It is deeply disturbing to know that there have been people who have had such bad experiences. I didn’t know people thought like that. No one has ever complained to me, nor am I aware of anyone at ABC Studios complaining. I wish I had known. I would have done what I could to bring about change.
In the words of screenwriter Javier Grillo-Marxuach, who resigned lost By season two, the writers’ room was “a predatory ecosystem with its own carnivorous megafauna.”