Olivia Munn Criticizes Predator Director for Casting Registered Sex Offender: It's 'Unsettling'
Olivia Munn has spoken out about director Shane Black casting Steven Wilder Striegel in a small role in Predator, that has since been deleted
Olivia Munn has spoken out about director Shane Black’s decision to cast his friend Steven Wilder Striegel in a small role in the upcoming film Predator, despite the fact that the actor is a registered sex offender.
In a statement shared with the Los Angeles Times, the actress, 38, said she thought it was “both surprising and unsettling that Shane Black, our director, did not share this information to the cast, crew, or Fox Studios prior to, during, or after production.”
Although she was initially unaware of his background, Munn learned that in 2010, Striegel, 47, pled guilty to attempting “to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet,” the L.A. Times reported.
She went on to add that she felt “relieved that when Fox finally did receive the information, the studio took appropriate action by deleting the scene featuring Wilder prior to release of the film.”
According to the outlet, after Munn told Fox the truth about Wilder’s past, the decision was quickly made to cut the three-page scene he appeared in, during which he played a jogger who made repeated sexual advances on Munn’s character.
“My mom taught me to stand up & say ‘That’s not okay,’ ”Munn wrote on Twitter on Thursday morning, seemingly referencing her decision to speak out about Striegel.
“Even if you find yourself standing alone, speak up. Even if people get mad at you, speak up. It’s not our job to stay silent so that others can stay comfortable,” she added. “Use your voice to shape the world or others will shape it for us.”
Munn was previously one of several women to accuse Hollywood director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct or harassment, claiming that he masturbated in front of her. Ratner’s attorney Martin Singer previously told the L.A. Times that his client disputed her claims.
In a statement shared with the L.A. Times, a spokesperson for Fox denied having been “aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impeded studios from running background checks on actors.”
Defending his decision to cast Striegel in the film, Black shared his own statement with PEOPLE, remarking that he “was misled by a friend.”
“Having read this morning’s news reports, it has sadly become clear to me that I was misled by a friend I really wanted to believe was telling me the truth when he described the circumstances of his conviction,” Black said. “I believe in giving people second chances — but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.”
He added, “After learning more about the affidavit, transcripts and additional details surrounding Steve Striegel’s sentence, I am deeply disappointed in myself. I apologize to all of those, past and present, I’ve let down by having Steve around them without giving them a voice in the decision.”
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Striegel served six months in jail after pleading guilty to risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer, according to the L.A. Times. After he was released, Black — his friend of over five years — was the first director to give the actor a role, offering him a part in Iron Man 3.
Striegel went on to allege that the 14-year-old girl was one of his “distant relatives” and that although he told her via email that “she was attractive and sexy,” their relationship never became physical.
However, according to an arrest warrant affidavit obtained by the outlet, it was alleged that the pair engaged in physical contact on multiple occasions.
Predator premiers at the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, and will be released nationwide on Sept. 14.