“We’re letting you go”: Cult-Classic Show ‘Lost’ Kicked Harold Perrineau Out for Demanding POC Characters Receive More Screen Time

"We're letting you go": Cult-Classic Show 'Lost' Kicked Harold Perrineau Out for Demanding POC Characters Receive More Screen Time

American actor Harold Perrineau opened up about his experience working in the popular ABC drama Lost. The television series premiered in September 2004 and was a groundbreaking success. The show follows a group of plane crash survivors on a mysterious island as they realize they might not be alone there. Perrineau portrayed the character of Michael Dawson in the series.


After starring in the first two seasons of the show, his character slowly started disappearing and had a guest appearance in its sixth and final season. The 59-year-old actor revealed the real reason why he was removed from the later seasons of the show in Maureen Ryan’s new book.

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Harold Perrineau Wasn’t One of the Hero Characters in Lost

The success of J.J. Abrams‘ 2004 sci-fi drama allowed it to continue for six seasons. During its casting process, the makers wanted to convince Harold Perrineau to join the show, and although he was skeptical at first, The Matrix Reloaded actor accepted the offer after talking to its creator.

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Harold Perrineau
Harold Perrineau

In Maureen Ryan’s new book Burn It Down, the actor explained the reason behind his sudden departure from the TV series. He shared that by the time they finished the first season, he started to feel that it specifically focused on a few characters more precisely than others.

“It became pretty clear that I was the Black guy. Daniel [Dae Kim] was the Asian guy. And then you had Jack and Kate and Sawyer,” he shared. The Romeo + Juliet actor shared that one of the writers on the show told him that they were specifically told about the “hero characters.”

Sawyer and Kate in Lost
Sawyer and Kate in Lost

He claimed that it included all-white characters such as“Locke, Jack, Kate, and Sawyer.” As per Vanity Fair’s report, while other characters like Sayid, Sun, Jin, and Michael had their stories, the makers did not care about these characters.

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Why Harold Perrineau Was Fired From Lost?

Harold Perrineau shared that season 2’s second episode focused on Michael and his son, Walt, who gets kidnapped by a shadowy group called the Others. However, as per the script, Michael only mentioned his son once throughout the episode, and the rest of the story revolved around Sawyer.

Michael Dawson and Walt Dawson in Lost
Michael Dawson and Walt in Lost

He said that he did not want to be “the Black guy” and was not in support of the clichés surrounding black characters featured in the show. The Zero Dark Thirty actor shared that although he knew the possible outcomes of sharing his perspective, he still did it.

Harold Perrineau approached Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse concerning the “onscreen equity” in Lost. After this, he was told that the episode was not about Michael. Later he received a revised script of the episode, which featured Michael’s flashback.

ABC’s Lost

Although his character was able to get the screentime, just weeks before filming the second season’s finale, Cuse told him his character would not return for the next season. “Well, you said you don’t have enough work here, so we’re letting you go,” he recalled the showrunner’s words. Perrineau said that he was shocked that he was fired from the show.

Lost is available on Hulu.

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Source: Vanity Fair

Written by Laxmi

Laxmi Rajput is a writer at Fandomwire. She finished her Post Graduation in Broadcast Journalism and worked as a Business News writer for a year. But her interest in entertainment and pop culture compelled her to find a way towards Entertainment Journalism. She has worked across various fields and has 2 years of experience in content writing. She likes reading, music, movies, and traveling. She aspires to become a fiction writer in the future.