The Predator director Shane Black gave an emotional apology for casting a longtime friend and actor in the movie despite his sex offender past

By Ale Russian
September 13, 2018 01:24 PM
Credit: Juan Naharro Gimenez/FilmMagic

The Predator director Shane Black is regretting his actions that have caused a controversy to overshadow his movie’s opening.

Black grew emotional at the Los Angeles premiere Thursday night while apologizing for casting a longtime friend and actor in the movie despite his friend’s sex offender past.

Black drew criticism, especially from lead star Olivia Munn, for casting Steven Wilder Striegel in a small role in the upcoming sequel without informing the cast. Munn later 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.

After the scene featuring Striegel was cut from the film due to the controversy, Munn continued to criticize the director for not apologizing to her personally, and the cast for not speaking out about the incident.

At the time, Black issued statement to PEOPLE apologizing for casting Striegel without letting the actors know about his past. Black doubled down on Thursday, taking the opportunity to take full responsibility for his decision.

“I made an error in judgement that is irresponsible — I’m not just a kid,” he told the Associated Press on the red carpet. “This is an adult decision with real responsibilities, and I didn’t vet somebody…I was the captain of that ship. It’s my job to make sure that those things don’t happen. And I failed, and I did cause pain to the people in the cast. That’s unacceptable. I take full responsibility. I’m very deeply sorry.”

He grew emotional as he continued, “I think about this a lot — I hope I learn from this. Because it really bothers me that this movie, which could’ve been beautiful people and a beautiful night…has been overshadowed in some ways by a stupid decision that I made. I’m very sorry to anybody.”

Black originally responded to the controversy in a statement to 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.”

Shane Black, Sterling K. Brown and Olivia Munn for The Predator
| Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty

In a statement shared with the Los Angeles Times, Munn, 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.”

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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.