Before Fox's remake of The Predator screened for the Toronto International Film Festival on September 6, the Los Angeles Times reported that the studio had deleted a scene featuring actress Olivia Munn and Steven Wilder Striegel, a close friend of the film's director, Shane Black.
After Munn discovered Striegel was a registered sex offender, she told Fox Studio, which led to their scene winding up on the cutting room floor. The 38-year-old actress, who plays a biologist in the film, struggled with revealing the information and now feels isolated from the cast as a result.
The sci-fi remake stars cast members Boyd Holbrook, Olivia Munn, Sterling K. Brown, Jacob Tremblay, along with Trevante Rhodes, Thomas Jane and Keegan-Michael Key. But not everyone was present for The Predator's press tours. The director didn't appear for the world premiere screening and also backed out of the press interview.
A Twentieth Century Fox spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter the studio wasn't cognizant of Striegel's criminal record when they hired him.
Several weeks ago, when the studio learned the details, his one scene in the film was removed within 24 hours. We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.
According to the LA Times, Striegel had faced allegations of acting "inappropriately with a 14-year-old female with whom he was related." Striegel had internet correspondences with the minor that were sexual in nature, and he tried to entice her into a relationship.
He spent six months in prison after he pleaded guilty in 2010.
On Friday, Munn tweeted that she was contractually obligated to show up for the press:
Munn sat down with THR's Video Lounge for a solo interview and said:
It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast. I try to do the right thing and that’s all I can do, and when I see something, you do something. You don’t just sit back and hope it protects your movie.
I don’t know why this has to be such a hard fight. I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people that I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one that put this guy on set.
I found out those details like everybody else did. It was shocking and disturbing. Now when I’m being asked about it, I don’t know how to lie about it. I don’t know how to pretend, I don’t know how to skirt around the issue.
Asked if she thinks the industry will have a thorough vetting system for hiring actors in the future, she said:
The truth is that the situation that we’re in over the last year or so, the #MeToo movement, it really exists because the people online who are appalled and outraged and demanding that things be changed. The people who are at the top, the people colluding to keep abusers in power, the people who are colluding to turn a blind eye so that they can keep making money, they are the people who created this disparity in the first place. We can’t really depend on them to make a change.
The Predator is scheduled for a September 14 release.
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