Top Stories

Damon Lindelof, 'Lost' Co-Creator, Acknowledges Failure Amidst Allegations of Toxicity and Racism

Damon Lindelof, 'Lost' Co-Creator, Acknowledges Failure Amidst Allegations of Toxicity and Racism

Damon Lindelof is owning up to his past failures as the showrunner and co-creator the mega popular ABC series, Lost.

The series, which ended in 2010, has long been criticized by crew and cast members over the racist and toxic environment that stemmed from the writers room.

An excerpt from Maureen Ryan‘s upcoming book “Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood,” was released on Vanity Fair, and its there that Damon reflects on the accusations, admitting he failed as a leader on the show.

Keep reading to find out more…

Damon says that his “fundamental inexperience as a manager and a boss, my role as someone who was supposed to model a climate of creative danger and risk-taking but provide safety and comfort inside of the creative process — I failed in that endeavor.”

He went on, telling the author (who conducted the interview in 2021) that he thought having “one or two [writers] who don’t look and think exactly like me, then, then I’m OK. I came to learn that was even worse.”

“For those specific individuals, forget about the ethics or the morality involved around that decision, but just talking about the human effect of being the only woman or the only person of color and how you are treated and othered — I was a part of that, a thousand percent.”

Damon continued, “The way that I conduct myself and the way that I treat other humans who I am responsible for and a manager of is a by-product of all the mistakes that were made.…I have significantly evolved and grown, and it shouldn’t have had to come at the cost and the trauma of people that I hurt on Lost.”

He then referenced Harold Perrineau‘s comments about the series, who has been vocal about the circumstances around how he was let go from the series in the season four finale.

“That was the thing that was always tricky. Any time you mention race, everybody gets—their hair gets on fire, and they’re like, ‘I’m not racist!’” Harold shared with Maureen in the book. “It’s like, ‘Nope. Because I say that I’m Black doesn’t mean I’m calling you a racist. I am talking to you from my perspective. I’m being really clear that I’m not trying to put my trauma on you, but I am trying to talk to you about what I feel. So can we just do that? Can we just have that conversation?’ […] But I felt like suddenly they were mad at me.”

Harold says that reading the Season 4 finale script, he was “f***ed up about it” and was very much in the vein of a “how dare you” question what’s written in the script.

Both Damon, and executive producer Carlton Cuse say that Harold‘s comments “break” their hearts.

“It breaks my heart to hear it. It’s deeply upsetting to know that there were people who had such bad experiences,” Carlton says. “I did not know people were feeling that way. No one ever complained to me, nor am I aware that anybody complained to ABC Studios. I wish I had known. I would have done what I could to make changes.”

Damon noted that the complaints go beyond just Harold though, and “every single actor had expressed some degree of disappointment that they weren’t being used enough. That was kind of part and parcel for an ensemble show, but obviously there was a disproportionate amount of focus on Jack and Kate and Locke and Sawyer — the white characters. Harold was completely and totally right to point that out. It’s one of the things that I’ve had deep and profound regrets about in the two decades since.”

“I do feel that Harold was legitimately and professionally conveying concerns about his character and how significant it was that Michael and Walt — with the exception of Rose — were really the only Black characters on the show.”

He then concluded, “I deeply regret that anyone at Lost would have to hear them. They are highly insensitive, inappropriate, and offensive.”

“It’s not for me to say what kind of person I am. But I will say this — I would trade every person who told you that I was talented — I would rather they said I was untalented but decent, rather than a talented monster.”

Just Jared on Facebook
Photos: ABC, Getty
Posted to: Damon Lindelof, Lost, Television

JJ Links Around The Web

Photo of Private:  JJ Links Around The Web