Lostpedia
Advertisement


Monica Owusu-Breen is a British-born Spanish-American writer. She was a writer and supervising producer on Lost for the first eight episodes of Season 3. Along with her writing partner Alison Schapker, she co-wrote the following episode: "The Cost of Living".

In 2023, Damon Lindelof issued an apology for enabling an unsafe work environment, of which Owusu-Breen and various others described as racist and hostile. She also alleged her confronting the issue led to her (as well as co-writer Schapker's) firing.[1] Carlton Cuse denied the allegations made by Owusu-Breen and the various other past production members of the series.[2]

Background[]

  • She has also worked on other JJ Abrams-produced television shows such as Alias for its third, fourth and fifth seasons, and Fringe for its third and fourth seasons.
  • She got her start-up working on Charmed.
  • She has also written for Brothers and Sisters for four of its five seasons, and four episodes of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D's first season.
  • She co-wrote an episode of Revolution in its first season, which also starred Elizabeth Mitchell, who portrayed Juliet Burke on Lost.

Dismissal[]

In 2023, she was interviewed for Maureen Ryan's Burn It Down: Power, Complicity, and a Call for Change in Hollywood (2023) book to discuss the hostile, unsafe work environment that co-executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse allegedly enabled. The behind-the-scenes investigation occurred over several years, during which other production members of Lost, some remaining anonymous, participated in.

Lindelof admitted to allowing this unsafe environment and while being unable to recount specific incidents, issued an apology, while Cuse denied any wrongdoing and refuted the accounts of various staff members as false.[1]

Alongside Owusu-Breen, her writing partner Schapker, as well as Javier Grillo-Marxuach, Melinda Hsu Taylor, anonymous employees using the pseudonyms "Gretchen", "Seamus", and various others, they recounted various incidents of a toxic work environment that was deemed racist and hostile. Other actors also contributed to the discussion such as Harold Perrineau, and an anonymous actor using the pseudonym "Sloan".

An early excerpt released for Vanity Fair revealed that Owusu-Breen alleged she was fired from the job for not tolerating racist commentary surrounding the death scene pitch for the character of Mr. Eko by Carlton Cuse. She also stated Damon Lindelof had made "everyone" laugh at the remark that he fired Harold Perrineau for calling him racist, a claim that was made by multiple sources that Maureen Ryan interviewed.[1]

From part of the excerpt from Vanity Fair, Owusu-Breen alleged:

I can only describe it as hazing. It was very much middle school and relentlessly cruel. And I’ve never heard that much racist commentary in one room in my career. [...] All I wanted to do was write some really cool episodes of a cool show. That was an impossibility on that staff. There was no way to navigate that situation. Part of it was they really didn’t like their characters of color. When you have to go home and cry for an hour before you can see your kids because you have to excise all the stress you’ve been holding in, you’re not going to write anything good after that.

She also recounted the nature of Cuse's initial pitch for Eko's death scene being graphic and made a reference to lynching. Another source recalled the remark about genital mutilation that Owusu-Breen recalled Cuse allegedly making. However, Cuse denied these claims as false.[1]

Advertisement