predator-DF-04286_r

The Predator: Olivia Munn speaks up about sex offender casting, says Shane Black didn't apologize to her personally

Contributed by
Sep 8, 2018

Earlier this week, it was revealed that 20th Century Fox decided to cut a scene from Shane Black's The Predator, as it contained a registered sex offender, Black's real-world friend Steven Wilder Striegel. The scene involved Striegel playing a jogger who constantly hits on Olivia Munn's character, Casey Bracket, a member of "The Loonies" that fight against the human-hunting Predator.

Munn, upon learning of Striegel's criminal history (attempting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl over the Internet), reported her findings to the studio, demanding that he be removed from the finished cut. In the end, Fox decided to axe the scene. Now the actress is speaking up and standing firm on her decision. 

“When I called, (Fox) was silent for two days,” Munn told Variety at the Toronto Film Festival. “I did have to reach out again and say I didn’t feel comfortable presenting at the MTV Awards with Keegan (Michael Key) unless this guy was out of it ...  I wouldn’t be able to morally stand behind this movie with this guy in there ...  I do believe people deserve second chances, but I do have a hard line when it comes to people who hurt children or animals. You deserve to go make money, but not alongside me in a film. You can go work in a lot of other places or like make an Etsy store or something.”

Black released a statement in which he voiced his desire to help out a friend (who also starred in Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys), while also understanding how people would take issue with the actor's past. This apology wasn't sufficent for Munn, who said:

“I think an apology has to happen privately, not just publicly, and I believe that in his apology, he [said he was sorry] to people past and present that he’s put in that situation, and I believe that would be me. But I didn’t get that [private] apology, I had to read it online with everyone else."

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actress still appreciates Black's apology, but hasn't heard from him since the news broke. Moreover, she's disappointed in the silence from her fellow cast members, who include: Boyd Holybrook (Logan), Sterling K. Brown (Black Panther), Keegan-Michael Key (Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation), and Thomas Jane (The Mist).

"I don’t know how to pretend, I don’t know how to skirt around the issue. I just know how to be honest about it. It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast," Munn said.

Brown responded via Twitter, taking Munn's side. "I’m sorry you’re feeling so isolated, my dear," he wrote in the first of five tweets that addressed the issue. "And I’m sorry you’ve been the only one to speak up publicly. I was not at #TIFF so I didn’t have an opportunity to be there with you."

Read his full statement below:

Munn also revealed that as soon as she learned of Siegel's history, there was no hesitation on her part. She immediately called her manager and lawyer, telling them to inform Fox of her discovery. 

When asked over Twitter about why she's still doing press for the film, Munn answered that she is "contractually obligated" to do so. Nevertheless, now that scene is no longer present, she believes that, "audiences will love it."

"The movie is a great movie, the scene isn’t in there. It’s going to do well," she told THR. "At the end of the day, it's just a movie. We can’t tell stories about people and not care about people. … There are people who get very mad at you for not just helping them bury it."

The Predator opens in theaters Sept. 14. Early reviews for the film, which premiered in Toronto, have been, on the whole, positive. 


Make Your Inbox Important

Get our newsletter and you’ll be delivered the most interesting stories, videos and interviews weekly.

Sign-up breaker