‘Lost’ Set Was Toxic, Poisonous & Racist Exposed In New Book ‘Burn It Down’

Showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse confront several accusations of racism, toxicity and more.

New book Burn It Down: Power, Complicity and a Call For Change in Hollywood by author Maureen Ryan exposes toxic and racist behavior that has been allowed on movie and tv sets.

Maureen Ryan has revealed shocking insights, in excerpts from her book, through Vanity Fair. Ryan uses the toxic working environment on the set of Lost as an example, with co-showrunner Damon Lindelof admitting “I failed.” 

The series, followed the lives of survivors of a plane crash on a mysterious island, it became an instant hit when released in 2004. 


Ryan interviewed former Lost cast members and writers. Actor Harold Perrineau’s character Michael was abruptly written off and he has revealed what happened when he confronted showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse about racial stereotypes and minority actors being sidelined.

The actor claims to have been fired after conversations with the showrunners, saying. “I was fucked up about it. I was like, “Oh, I just got fired, I think,” Perrineau told Ryan.

There are claims that Lindelof later said that Perrineau ‘called me racist, so I fired his ass.’ 


Damon Lindelof responded to the comments admitting “there was a high degree of insensitivity.” during the production and the entire series run, saying.

“My level of 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.”

Maureen Ryan’s book will expose behind the scenes stories from other productions including an interview with Evan Rachel Wood.

Your can read Ryan’s article in full here in Vanity Fair.

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