Steven Wilder Striegel spent six months in prison after exchanging emails of a sexual nature with an underage girl
Oliva Munn has said The Predator director Shane Black hasn’t spoken to her since she got a scene cut from the film that featured a registered sex offender.
Munn appeared in a scene with actor Steven Wilder Striegel, who spent six months in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer after he was accused of trying to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship via email.
Munn, who plays Casey Bracket in the film, was unaware of Striegel’s conviction at the time of filming. She has said she told Fox, who produced the movie, as soon as she was made aware of it. The scene was later deleted and the studio released a statement saying they were unaware of Striegel’s background when he was hired.
Black, who is a friend of Striegel’s, initially told the Los Angeles Times: “I personally chose to help a friend. I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.” After quotes from Striegel’s correspondence with the underage girl were published by the press, the director issued a statement in which he said he had been “misled” by Striegel and was “deeply disappointed in” himself.
“I apologise to all of those, past and present, I’ve let down by having Steve around them without giving them a voice in the decision,” he added.
The cast have been promoting the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, where it was given its global premiere, but Black did not attend the festival. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Munn said she had not heard from the director.
“I did see his apology that he put out,” she said. “I appreciate the apology. I would have appreciated it more if it was directed toward me privately before it went public and I had to see it online with everyone else.”
She continued to discuss her feelings on how she had been treated in the wake of getting the scene cut from The Predator. “It’s honestly disheartening to have to fight for something so hard that is just so obvious to me,” she said. “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, and I was really important to me to have the scene deleted.
“When the press found out, they asked for a statement, I gave a statement. 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. 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.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Munn’s co-stars, excluding child actor Jacob Tremblay, have been cancelling scheduled interviews. Keegan-Michael Key, who plays Coyle, was confirmed to have completed his scheduled commitments.
“Keegan was never booked to do an interview with The Hollywood Reporter,” his publicist said in a statement. “His last interview was scheduled after lunch, which he completed. He was always departing TIFF early so he could be home to spend the Jewish holiday with his wife. Furthermore, Keegan reached out to Olivia privately last week to let her know how proud he was of her and echoed that sentiment in many interviews since then.”
Sterling K. Brown, who plays Traeger in the film and was not present at TIFF, tweeted his support for the actor. “I’m sorry you’re feeling so isolated, my dear,” he wrote. “And I’m sorry you’ve been the only one to speak up publicly.”
Later in the series of messages, he added: “What I take issue with, (& I believe Shane addressed this in his apology), is that we all have the right to know who we’re working with! And when someone has been convicted of a crime of a sexual nature involving a child, we have the right to say that’s not okay!”
He confirmed that the cast were not aware of Striegel’s history before filming. “I so appreciate that you “didn’t leave well enough alone,” & again, I’m sorry you feel isolated in taking action,” he continued. “Thank you to @20thcenturyfox for taking quick action in deleting the scene. @oliviamunn I hope you don’t feel quite so alone. You did the right thing.”
The Predator is due for release on September 12. It also stars Boyd Holbrook, Keegan-Michael Key, and Alfie Allen.