The actor has revealed why he left the series
Harold Perrineau, star of »Lost», has decided to come clean about the reasons that led to his departure from the series.
He has told the truth through his testimony in a book
The truth has come out in n a new excerpt from the book »Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood,» which chronicles the alleged toxic and hostile work environment behind the scenes of the hit ABC series.
The writer spoke with numerous team members
Author Maureen Ryan spoke with screenwriters and cast members from all six seasons, including Perrineau, who detailed their experiences.
The creators did not take the team’s concerns seriously
One of the show’s writers also alleged that its creators, Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse were not responsive and did not take seriously concerns among the team that the stories seemed to focus solely on the »hero characters,» who were all white.
The actor entered the series at its inception
Harold Perrineau joined the supernatural series in 2004 as Michael. In the book, the actor recalls how hopeful he was about this new job opportunity. According to him, when it came time to sell him on this new opportunity, he was promised the role as equitable when it came to splitting screen time among the large cast.
Evident from the first season
However, the actor said it became clear as the first season of the series began to unfold that »I was the black guy. Daniel was the Asian guy. And then there was Jack, Kate and Sawyer,» played respectively by Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lilly and Josh Holloway.
There was one chapter in which the actor was particularly upset
The actor focused primarily on the first version of the script for one of the second season’s episodes, the second episode. The episode revolved around the kidnapping of Michael’s son Walt. For the actor, the flashbacks that appeared in that episode focused, once again, on one of the »hero characters,» Sawyer.
He was not satisfied with the behavior of his character
Perrineau said he recalled being surprised at how little Michael mentioned his missing son, considering the circumstances. »I don’t think I can do that,» Perrineau recalled. »I can’t be another person who doesn’t care about missing black kids, even in the context of fiction, can I? This is just furthering the narrative that no one cares about black kids, not even their parents.»
The actor shared his concerns
The actor stated that he expressed to Lindelof and Cuse his concerns about the script and the lack of depth or complexity he felt his character deserved.
They did not count on him for the third season
Several weeks before filming began on the second season finale, Perrineau claimed that Cuse had told him that he would not be asked to return for the third season and that the executive producer was unsure if Michael would return to the popular series.
The actor was very surprised by the news
The actor was disgruntled about it, because he didn’t fully understand whether he was fired or not. He claims that Cuse told him »Well, you know, you told us, if we don’t have anything good for you, you want to leave.» The actor was negatively surprised, he had only asked for an equality in the depth of his character.
According to the book excerpt, multiple sources claimed that Lindelof said in an apparent reaction to Perrineau’s departure after the second season »He called me a racist, so I fired him.»
Perrineau’s character returned for the fourth season
Although Perrineau was kicked off the series after the second season, he rejoined as a regular character in the fourth season. In the end, however, his character was killed in an explosion.
However, he was removed from the series again
The actor took part in an interview after his on-screen death, in which he criticized the tumultuous end of Michael’s journey. What the hell, is that what I came back for? I’m disappointed, especially since I wanted Michael and Walt to have a happy ending.»
The opinion of each creator is different
Lindelof did acknowledge that there was a high degree of insensitivity with respect to the treatment of Hrold Perrineau’s concerns. For his part, Cuse acknowledged that it was a plot problem that »they didn’t know how to solve».
Lindelof regrets some of his decisions
»Each and every one of the actors had expressed some degree of disappointment that they weren’t being used enough….. It was part and parcel of an ensemble series, but obviously there was a disproportionate amount of attention to Jack, Kate, Locke and Sawyer, the white characters. Harold was absolutely right to point that out,» Lindelof later confessed. »It’s one of the things I’ve deeply and profoundly regretted in the two decades since,» the creator revealed.