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Lost News – Harold Perrineau Clarifies Himself at EW.com

By ErasedSlate,

  Filed under: Lost News
  Comments: 36

haroldperrineau_l[1].jpgThe following are highlights from at interview in EW.com.  To get the full story, click for the exclusive interview by EW.com

 

 

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You expressed displeasure with the way your story line ended, calling it “not cool.” Do you feel bitter about what happened?
HAROLD PERRINEAU: I wouldn’t say I’m bitter. I’m just like the fans, and I got excited when Michael was coming back. I thought it was really significant when Michael dropped those people off with the Others; I thought he was going to have something just as significant when he came back. I was disappointed that he didn’t.

 

You were quoted as saying that the loss of Michael meant that Walt “winds up being another fatherless child, [and] it plays into a really big, weird stereotype.” Did you voice that concern to the producers?
… Their job is to make the story work. My feelings about the social implications are my feelings. My feelings don’t determine what the storyline is.

 

Do you feel that there is something fundamentally problematic with that plot, or is that just an observation?
It’s just an observation. Michael’s a black character and I’m a black person, so I have feelings based on it. I can’t really separate those two things — my race and my country and all that stuff. How it plays out in the story, I don’t know, because I don’t know how the rest of the story is going to play out. I accept that this is what [the producers] need to happen for something else to happen later.

 

How would you have liked Michael’s story to have played out?
I didn’t think he got to redeem himself especially to the people who I feel like he wronged. I wanted Michael to go back and do something for them so that they felt like he really put out and that he did something to satisfy his own guilt and their anger….

 

What are the chances that you’ll return, as a ghost, or in some other form?
There are definitely possibilities for Michael to return — and maybe even possibilities for the thing I’m hoping for to happen.

From TVFrenzy:

  • Dec22007

    I hope he does get to come back, however I think the chances are slight after that reaction. There is a certain professionalism and tact that was needed and he let his emotions run rampant in that interview.

    Flaming the producers and screaming racism doesn’t help bring your character back. I hope its because he cared about the character so much, that seems doubtful though…

  • Charlie’s Ghost

    I think there is a window of opportunity for his character to return. Walt is alive and probably heading back to the island, falling under the ‘everyone’ statement that Ben made. He meant the O6 plus Locke, but I’m thinking Walt is included….and possibly Desmond…you never know. Point is, Walt currently thinks that his Dad is still alive…per his convo with Hurley….so there’s probably going to be a recurrence of Mike….in dream sequence, as a ghost, etc.

    More thoughts?

  • Lionel Jefferson

    The fan overreaction to his initial comments were more disturbing than anything he actually said. It’s sort of silly, this being 2008, that a black guy gets excoriated for pointing out there is such a thing as institutional racism. And a bunch of white people getting prickly when anyone notices is really how you tell it’s going on.

    But, you know aside from the racism, it’s some pretty weak storytelling. I mean, more than redeeming himself to the basically total strangers on Craphole Island, Michael needed to redeem himself to his son. Whom we’re told won’t even see him. I don’t think committing suicide or getting blowed up is actually redemption. Not to rational people, anyway.

  • icyone

    He’s not very apologetic for the things he said before, and I can’t say he really clarified it.

    It is cool, however, that he is open to the possibility of coming back. He’s right about one thing – he didn’t really redeem himself at all. And unless Jin survived the blast, he didn’t do anything for the island.

  • steve

    I don’t care what color he is. The CHARACTER, Michael, originally killed 2 people, then later told his son the story. What kind of man does that? Who puts that kind of burden on a child? He had his chance to redeem himself to his son, then he blew it because he was weak. It was his choice to tell the story of killing 2 people to free Walt. GOOD RIDDANCE.
    His comment about the “fatherless child” is hilarious. How many character’s are fatherless by Walt’s age? Ben, Locke, Sawyer, Zack and Emma, and our SUPERBABY Aaron.

  • jimmy ze00

    I’m hoping that this is all a matter of Harold overreacting about not being privy to information regarding his character in season 5. Because if not then yeah, that was some weak-sauce handling of an otherwise complex character.

  • KeepingAwake

    I think he clarified himself in that he was clear about separating his own personal feelings from his opinion of the show and its storytelling. HP is a gifted actor and one thing that did remain consistent about his character was his commitment to his son. He fought not to lose him when Susan left, he really tried, and occasionally blundered, in trying to forge a relationship with Walt once Walt was returned to him. He rightfully blasted Brian for abandoning Walt and did his best to keep Walt from knowing that was what Brian had chosen to do. In all the years he was separated from Walt, he tried to maintain contact. He made terrible sacrifices in killing Libby and Ana Lucia, believing it was the best way to protect his son. That’s a pretty committed dad. Yes, he later came to believe that killing Ana Lucia and Libby was wrong, and I wish he had had a better arc to redeem that, but, ultimately, he did sacrifice himself in an attempt to save everyone he left behind.
    I can see what he is saying about the public perception, in part based on statistics, that many children of black fathers grow up not knowing them. But in the case of Michael and Walt, that separation was not abandonment. It was at times circumstance and at times Michael making what he believed was the best decision at the time, although sometimes those decisions were questionable. In some ways, Michael was redeemed the first time Walt really looked to him for guidance, protection and love. So while I can understand HP’s sensitivity about not perpetuating a stereotype, I don’t think that’s what his character did.
    I, too, would have liked to have seen a stronger Michael storyline this season. Have to wonder if the compression of the season due to the writers’ strike played a part in that.

  • Alex Little

    Sadly, this was the worst decision that TPTB have ever made on LOST. Not only is it disappointing given the build we had towards the return of his character, but it’s simply incredibly poorly managed story. It’s a shame, because the one thing nobody has ever been able to touch the LOST writers on is their handling of complex narrative. Some have called them out for making it up as they go, some for irrational writing which has required tremendous leaps of faith on the part of the audience. Most of the fanbase, and I include myself, have stuck with them. Right now, my faith in the LOST creative team is about as shaken as it’s ever been.

    It’s not racism. It’s just crap writing.

  • KeepingAwake

    Alex, if you haven’t read the whole interview at EW, I would recommend that you do. You might feel a little better. 😉

    One of the things that has occurred to me in thinking about Michael’s early departure is that all of our characters who are in connection with the island don’t know their dads well. Hurley’s dad was gone for most of his life, Locke’s father was unknown and then turned out to be a con man and is now dead, Aaron’s dad took off, Kate’s dad wasn’t her dad-so again, no real relationship and then killed him. Ben you could argue knew his dad, but how much do you really ‘know ‘ and abusive alcoholic who hates you? Perhaps this is setting up an arc for Walt? I may be way off, but it’s something thats occurred to me as a possibility over the last few days…

  • Roc Bottom

    I for one, never saw a problem with what he said in the last interview, so what is there for him to clear up? He’s absolutely right if you actually READ what he said. His character had fallen victim so shitty writing, and if the writing is shitty, and the writers know this, then of course the only solution to cover up the shitty-ness(if u will), is to kill the character off. Not saying the writers aren’t doing thier job, but there have been instances where they have dropped the ball a few times on something that was a big part of the story and this is one of those times. Think about it, you build up a major character’s return, use him very little during the season, then give him a SECOND send off. Not to mention the second send off was EXTREMELY weak and pointless! Bottom line, he was right the first time. This move was to satisfy a few bonehead, bloodthirsty fans, but what about the fans who wanted more out of his story. A chance to see his character grow? Whether u are mike-fans or a few jackas-bloodthirsty fans, WE ALL GOT ROBBED WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT!

  • shadowclub karma

    AMEN TO THAT!

  • Michael

    Michaels character attributes have nothing to do with him being black and everything to do with fitting into the overall theme of the show.

    Lionel Jefferies, you need to reconsider your argument. Your comments are ignorant. Who is to say that everybody who objected to his comments are white, I objected and I am not white. Even if I was white that does not give you the right to assume my opinions aren’t valid. As far as redemption, what do you want? He paid the ultimate sacrifice, his life. There is nothing more noble a gesture than that. I think you toss around the word racism to lightly. What I think you wanted is for Michael to get a happy ending. Lost hasn’t given anybody that yet. The whole point of next season is the idea that what you desire most (like lets say, getting off the island) might be the worse thing for you.

    What I object to is HP’s complete lack of understanding of the key story elements of Lost of which his character arch is part. The idea of fathers abandoning or abusing their role as a father is a consistent them in Lost. Also, I think you can automatically assume that because a person is black and they bring up a charge of racism that it is legitimate.

  • Roc Bottom

    Michael: I think you need to first off go back and read HP’s originall interview. He wasn’t pointing out that what happened was due to racism, he said he felt if fell into that category of the black male stereotype and that was his honest opinion. And in the recent interview he hit the nail on the head, yet again, by saying, bringing up race is a touchy subject and when you do, you have to be careful what you say and not try to sway anyone’s outlook on race. He was making a very KEEN observation. And to tell Lionel Jefferies that his comments were ignorant is pretty lame. Where was the ignorance? And just because u are not white doesn’t mean your opinion isn’t valid, i’ll give u that, but when someone of color brings up anything about race to anyone of any other racial group, whether the person reading it gets what he’s trying to say or not, that automatically puts him on the chopping block and gives other races a chance to come to boards like this and make their typical, ignorant, “it’s 2008 get over it speech.” He never once said that his character’s handling and the final decision was made due to his race. People should actually READ these interviews before speaking on them.
    And once again, his character was handled very poorly! We fans deserve better than this!

  • yeah i think what harold said was fair enough. i admit, i found michael a hard character to actually like but i thought his story was fascinating and was gutted to see the way he was handled this season. it was a pure waste of a great actor and a potentially great storyline.

  • shadowclub karma

    what it all boils down to is this. fans are divided. on the one hand, you have fans who love micheal’s character. the other, fans who don’t like him. The fans who liked him should have been a bit more vocal than the fans who didn’t. that’s what did his character in! Idiots who say, good riddance, and micheal should die, that’s crap. his character had the ability to do great things within the world of lost! but we, in the end, got fucked over! where was this GREAT REDEMPTION! blowing up a freakin boat? give me a freakin BREAK! that’s WEAK! all that, “paid the ultimate price with his life” crap ain’t cuttin’ it! SORRY! I expected more out of his character and i DEMAND more. The fans got SCREWED with the micheal story!

  • Ben

    I’m really disappointed to see Harold leave the show, especially after this interview. I have a lot of respect for him as a person for his ability to set aside his own feelings in regards to being offed and clarify his meaning in the original interview. He’s a well-spoken person, and in my opinion, an outstanding actor. I’ve seen people criticize his WAAALTs to no end, which I agree is both funny and borderline obnoxious, but his emotions are so REAL. His son was literally kidnapped from him – right in front of him – and his emotions very accurately reflect how I would imagine a person would react given the circumstances. I would have loved to see more of him, and still have hopes that we will, in season 5.

    You’ll be greatly missed, Harold.

  • hurleybird dharmavan

    BRING BACK MICHAEL!! STOP ROBBING THE FANS!

  • frankenfro

    DITTO! AND GET IT RIGHT THIS TIME, DAMMIT!

  • milkfork

    He had every right to say what he felt. But more importantly, it seemed fueled by the fact that the writers really did eff up his character. the fatherless child thing is all over the Lost show. So i do agree that it is not a “color” thing. But how disgraceful, to bring back a character who wronged everyone, and he has his chance to redeem himself, but it leads nowhere. he rides on a freighter for a few episodes, then freezes a bomb for a little while, then explodes. his character went nowhere since his return.

    and as for the fellow up there who said, “what kind of man tells his son what he did to get them off the island?” how about a father who doesn’t want to lie to his son. he tried to be honest. i think that’s admirable. walt did deserve to know the truth, and michael gave it to him, despite how it would make him look in walt’s eyes. that still makes him a bigger man than the one who hides what he’s done.

    i’m really upset about how the writer’s chose to deal with the michael character. it’s a cheap shot, and if I was Harold Perrinau, i’d feel pretty shitty too. and if he said some things out of that frustration, well, then that’s only natural.

    bogus all the way.

  • Steve Swamp

    There’s also the possiblity that the producers put him up to this. After all, they filmed two alternative endings to keep things a secret. Maybe they want us to think he’s gone, when he’s really not. I think Walt will go back, as he is one of the few that seemed to appear and disappear while he is still considered among the living. He may just be stuck in a time warp that Walt plays a key in freeing. Who knows. I don’t know if the producers have thought this one out completely.

  • ErasedSlate

    Steve Swamp: If there is any doubt that Michael is gone, here is the article that elaborates his next gig. Of course, this doesn’t mean he is finished with Lost, but it does give a pretty good clue as to fate of the character.

  • Stilts

    I was upset by his death on the show. He has a right to his feelings & I was disappointed & felt let down. What was even the purpose of bringing Michael back? I just hope we see Walt next season. I am starting to think the only happy ending will be for Kate & whoever the hell she chooses to be with.

  • Michael

    What Harold is doing is intimating racism without actually saying it directly. The people who agree with him assert themselves that the producers are either racist or their was some level of racism involved in how his character was handled. His paranoia about his character’s abandonment of Walt affirming a black stereotype demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of one of the most important thematic elements of Lost, father issues.

    What I do not understanding is how his character could have been handled better. Do you mean he could have the happy walking off into the sunset with Walt ending. Everything that has happened to the character Michael is a direct result of his own actions. I think Harold’s expectations for the character was just as foolish as the fans. He made the ultimate sacrifice, the one that means the most, his life.

    I just think everybody loves to blame race. Its a safety switch people can use to make excuses,deflect criticism and fans have adopted it as a means to argue that a character they loved was not handled in a way THEY felt was appropriate even if it was clearly the best way to handle the character thematically.

  • kingkrims

    People forget that the real problem isnt rascism is the fact that you got mostly white writers trying to write balck, spanish, and korean, etc. characters. I am sorry but no matter how much research you do, you can’t truly write what a black, woman, spanish, korean, etc. actually feels or really acts.
    I give the writers alot of credit for the accuracy they have portrayed so far. To me the Michael character was wasted beyond belief, all the hype about his return for what… To take a bomb that didnt wok at first… then he changed his mind and decided to stop a C4 mega bomb.. The writers really fucked up and it surprised me.. I was willing to forgive the whole Desmon/Claire vision that didnt come to pass, but the Michael mess up is too much…
    I don’t know if the writers are gonna cop out a plea and blame it on writer’s strike, but I hope they take the blame say “My bad” and write strong again…Michael was a waste of character, a waste of a good actor, and a waste of a great storyline..

    I hope they redeem themselves next year….

    KRIMS
    NYC

  • a

    I hope Micheal Stays dead and buried. Talking about “race.” Pffft. Micheal/Harold are dark skinned. Micheal/Harold are not a different species. If only people were more curious for the truth about Human DNA, they would put a lot of this racism shit behind them and stop walking around with a chip on their shoulder.

  • bchova

    I think that Damon and Carlton had planned for Michael to die at the end of the season since the begining. The fact that he had a pretty lame character arc is probably more the strike’s fault than Damon and Carlton’s.

  • Colin

    I don’t really understand why everyone is saying that the writers screwed up by killing Michael off the show. Most of you act as if it wasn’t completely obvious that he was going die! The writers didn’t accidentally write the script that way in the finale – Michael’s entire season 4 character arc was leading to his death. Whether or not you think that this is what his true ‘redemption’ should have been is your own opinion. Don’t blame it on the writers ‘MESSING UP’ just because you don’t like what happened. Contrary to what most of us would like to think, it’s just a television show, if you don’t like it – then don’t watch it. Your Loss. Everyone should stop blaming this on race or a lack of ability to write for minority characters (the WEAKEST excuse for criticism I’ve read so far) — Michael’s death has nothing to do with that. Poor Walt joins the rest of the cast as being a father-less child. Go figure – it’s one of the top motives of the story. Get over yourselves (Harold Perrineau included) and find something else to blame your unhappiness on – it’s nowhere near being a racial issue.

  • Blahman

    ^^^^^^^
    RE Colin:
    Spoken like a true (White )Lost Fan…

  • Colin

    RE Blahman:
    Why should it matter whether I am white or not?

  • JDSalinger

    Just forget the whole race thing & look at the character: Michael joins the ranks of Eko (whom I luved) & Ana Lucia (who was also vilified, despite being a great character), who I thought was also a bit of a 1D character…They all have one thing in common: this deep anger at the cards they’ve been given by Life…but Mike was at least trying to change that & be a father…my sole problem with the show is that some characters issues seem to be more worthwhile than ohters(Kate, Jack)…
    Plus, since all of ’em seem to have daddy issue’s wouldn’t it have been more balanced if we saw a REAL father-son relationship that finally works….and not resort to some Ghost rip off….I know for the sake of the show things must move on, but isnt Lost ’bout characters first and foremost, right….?

  • kitterkatters64

    why does it have to be a race thing?? did the dude who played Charlie complain and blame his being written off on being British??
    jeez………spare us the sour grapes Harold and show some gratitude. before this show nobody had even heard of you.

  • dusty trailz

    Are any of you people paying attention at all? He never said he was fired because of his race. He never said his character ended because he was black at all. I helps if some of you people read article before you comment. I am going to start a campaign to bring michael back! Not just because i like the character…but because his story really needs to be done right, and i felt as if we were all jipped! “You can go now?”! What a bunch of crap!

  • Ryan

    Disappointment is different than bad writing. Wishing Michael’s storyline went further than it eventually did is disappointing. “Plan 9 From Outer Space” or “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians” is bad writing. There’s a difference. Also, isn’t it up to Walt to decide if Michael redeemed himself?

  • roc bottom

    isn’t bad writing a disappointment?

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