Beloved TV show ‘Lost’ wasn’t immune to industry’s pervasive toxic culture

June 3, 20235:37 PM ET, Heard on All Things Considered
Below is the audio file, transcript on article page.

From my LOST collection…

ERIC DEGGANS, HOST: Looking at media coverage of Hollywood, especially in recent years, it seems obvious – show business has a problem with behind-the-scenes abuse and harassment. But this week, Maureen Ryan, a contributing editor of Vanity Fair and longtime critic and journalist, surprised TV fans by revealing in the magazine that a classic show beloved for its diverse cast and creativity was actually steeped in incidents of racism, sexism and bullying behavior behind the scenes.

That show was “Lost,” centered on the surreal experiences of a group of people stranded on an island after a plane crash, which won Emmy, Golden Globe and Peabody Awards during its six-season run on ABC in the mid-2000s. But according to writers and actors who spoke to Ryan behind the scenes, showrunners Carlton Cuse and Damon Lindelof created an atmosphere where racism and bullying were tolerated and encouraged on the set.

Ryan’s Vanity Fair article is an excerpt from her upcoming book publishing Tuesday titled, “Burn It Down: Power, Complicity And A Call For Change in Hollywood.” Maureen Ryan joins us now. Welcome to the program.