Daniel Dae Kim complained on Twitter about the Hollywood trope in which minority characters are often killed off in movies and TV shows. The actor said that he’s died so many times on screen that it became an issue for his kids, and it’s now a primary factor when deciding whether he will take a role.
He was responding to a tweet about a new study that says 25 percent of Asian and Pacific Islander characters died in the top-grossing movies of 2019.
He wrote: “Angel, Lost, The Cave, Spider Man 2, Arena, Andromeda Strain… I’ve died so many times on screen it became a real issue for my kids. It’s now one the primary factors in deciding whether I take a role or not. This trope is one of many for people of color that needs to change.”
He might have a valid complaint when talking in general, but one of the shows he cited where his character was killed is “Lost.” Nearly EVERYONE died on that show. By the show’s end, at least 130 named characters died. This doesn’t include the approximately 250 passengers who died in the initial plane crash, nor the scores of unnamed characters who were killed during the show’s six-season run (such as the mass-killing of the entire Dharma Initiative by “The Others.”) No one was safe, and that was part of what kept viewers in suspense.
Kim played the main character “Jin” (Jin-Soo Kwon). It fully flushed out role with a deep back story and dedicated plot lines. His character survived nearly to the end, and only died because he chose to stay with his wife rather than let her die alone.
Here’s a look back at how a several dozen significant characters died on “Lost,” roughly in order of how their deaths are shown on the show:
UPDATE: In a later interview with AV Club, Kim elaborated on his tweet, and explained that it wasn’t complaining about LOST:
Just to be clear, because something that gets lost in the nuance of tweets—no pun intended—is that I would play the role of Jin and take the role on Lost a hundred times out of a hundred. I really loved this character, so I hope it’s clear I’m not trying to throw any shade on Lost whatsoever. I loved that job. It’s more about the dynamics in general. This is not my way of attacking any particular specific role, it’s really just talking about the situation that people of color find themselves generally in where they are considered more disposable than other members of the cast.
How characters died on “Lost” (MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD):
Pilot Seth Norris: The pilot of Oceanic Flight 815 was killed by the smoke monster, which grabbed him out of the plane’s cockpit. This is the first character death not directly caused by the plane crash itself.
Christian Shepard: Jack’s dad died of a heart attack in Australia before the show began; his body was being transported in the airplane’s cargo hold. The character appeared several times as a ghost, and in flashback sequences.
Ethan: Ethan was one of “The Others” who were already on the island when Oceanic Flight 815 crashed. He was shot by Charlie, after he first infiltrated the group of survivors and then abducted Claire and tried to kill Charlie.
Boone: While working to open the hatch, Boone and John Locke find a drug smuggler’s crashed plane stuck in a tree. Boone climbed into the plane hoping to use the plane’s radio to call for rescue, but the plane dislodged and fell to the ground. Attempts by Jack to save Boone failed, and he died of his injuries.
Dr. Leslie Arzt: Blew himself up while handling a stick of unstable dynamite that was found in The Black Rock shipwreck – a wooden vessel hundreds of years old found deep in the jungle.
Shannon: Boone’s sister was accidentally shot by Anna Lucia, who mistook her for a threat.
Goodwin: Impaled on a stick by Ana Lucia as a group of survivors from the tail section of the plane escaped from “The Others.” It was because of this experience of being held captive and escaping that Ana Lucia later accidentally shot Shannon.
Yemi: Mr. Eko’s priest brother was shot in a flashback scene by military soldiers fighting a warlord drug dealer.
Ana Lucia: Murdered by Michael, who was told by “The Others” that he had to kill her in order to get his son Walt, who they were holding hostage, back from them.
Libby: Libby was also killed by Michael, because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time; she walked in and witnessed him kill Ana Lucia, and then Michael shot her too.
Kevin: Accidentally killed when he fell during a fight with Desmond and hit his head against a rock. Because of this incident, Desmond failed to hit the button in the bunker before time expired, causing the release of energy that downed Oceanic Flight 815.
Eko: Killed by the smoke monster.
Nikki and Paulo: Buried alive by Sawyer and Hurley, who believed the two were dead, not realizing that they were only temporarily paralyzed by a poison that slows the heartrate and mimics death.
Roger Linus: Murdered by his son Ben Linus, who killed him by opening a canister of poison gas.
Horace: A member of the Dharma Initiative, he was killed when “The Others” slaughtered the Dharma Initiative.
Mikhail: Already severely wounded, he intentionally blew himself up with grenade outside the underwater Looking Glass facility. In a later “flash sideways,” after the timeline split, his character dies a second time when he is shot and killed by Jin.
Charlie: Drowned when the explosion from Mikhail’s grenade caused the underwater Looking Glass facility to flood. Charlie shut a watertight door in order to save Desmond from also drowning.
George: Died on the freighter due to the effects of time travel.
Danielle Rousseau: Shot by one of Charles Widmore’s mercenaries.
Alex Rousseau: Ben’s stolen/ adopted daughter was shot in the head by Widmore’s mercenary Martin Keamy. Keamy threatened to shoot Alex if Ben did not surrender, and then called Ben’s bluff when Ben did not surrender.
Martin Keamy: Stabbed twice in the neck by Ben. Because Keamy was wearing a dead man’s switch connected to explosives on the freighter, this also resulted in the explosion and sinking of the freighter. (In a “flash sideways” Keamy’s character he is killed a second time, by Sayid.)
Michael: Killed when the freighter exploded. He becomes a ghost trapped on the island, as punishment for killing Ana Lucia. NOTE: It seemed like Jin (played by Daniel Dae Kim) died in the freighter explosion, but he actually survived and was later transported back in time to the 1970s when the island moved.
Charlotte Lewis: Dies from the effects of time travel as the island skips through time.
John Locke: Strangled to death by Ben. His body is later inhabited by The Man in Black after it is brought back to the island on the Ajira Flight 316.
Daniel Faraday: The physicist is killed by a younger version of his mother, Eloise Hawking, while traveling through time.
Jacob: Stabbed by Ben, and then kicked into a fire pit by The Man in Black.
Juliet: Pulled down into the Swan shaft during “The Incident.” Dying of her injuries, she causes a nuclear weapon to detonate, causing a split in the timeline.
Sayid: Shot, and then drowned by The Others. He is later brought back to life by The Man in Black. He later dies a second time in an explosion while attempting to save his friends, causing a submarine they were using to escape the island to sink.
Sun: Dies when the submarine sinks and she is trapped, unable to escape
Jin: Daniel Dae Kim’s character Jin chooses to die with his wife Sun in the submarine, rather than leave her to die alone.
Caption: Jin and Sun death scene
Mother: Killed by The Man in Black (after he learns that she killed his real mother, and took him and Jacob to raise as her own).
The Man in Black: Dies after Jacob exposes him to “The Source,” in retaliation for killing their mother, which turns him into the smoke monster.
Charles Widmore: Shot by Ben, in order to try to stop him from saving his daughter Penny, who is on the freighter. It was an act of revenge, since Widmore’s mercenary killed Ben’s daughter Alex. Charles Widmore died, but his daughter Penny survives.
The Man in Black (as The Smoke Monster): While inhabiting the body of John Locke, he is shot by Kate, and then pushed off the cliff to his death by Jack.
Jack Shepard: Died on this island due to getting stabbed by The Man in Black, but he managed to repair “The Source” before he died, saving the island.
Ben: Ben survives and goes on to become Hugo’s #2 as a protector of the island. We know this from when most of the survivors of Oceanic Flight 815 gather to move on into the afterlife together.
Of the main characters, only a few survive to the very end:
Kate, Sawyer, and Claire leave the island on the Ajira plane, along with pilot Frank, the seemingly immortal Richard, and the psychic Miles. Desmond does not make it onto the plane, but the show implies that Hurley and Ben later make sure he is able to get home to Penny. Hurley is now the protector of the island.
We last see Walt living with his grandmother in New York, although extras released after the show ends reveal that he is later visited by Hurly and given an opportunity to go back to the island, to help his father Michael who is trapped as ghost.
Rose and Bernard lived peacefully in their cabin on the island, refusing to get involved in any further conflict.