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Convicted sexual predator’s scene from The Predator removed after Olivia Munn complains

A scene involving actors Olivia Munn and Steven Wilder Striegel was removed from The Predator after Munn brought to the attention of 20th Century Fox that Striegel was a convicted sexual predator.

hollywood Updated: Sep 09, 2018 16:53 IST
Associated Press
The Predator,Olivia Munn,Steven Wilder Striegel
Olivia Munn attends the 2018 MTV Movie & TV awards, at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica on June 16, 2018.(AFP)

Just hours before the premiere of The Predator at the Toronto International Film Festival, Twentieth Century Fox said it removed a scene from the film with actor Steven Wilder Striegel after learning he is a registered sex offender.

A spokesperson for Fox on Thursday said Striegel's single scene in the film was promptly cut after the studio learned of Striegel's background. Fox said it didn't know of the actor's history because of legal limitations on running background checks on actors.

"Our studio was not aware of Mr Striegel's background when he was hired," said the spokesperson. "Several weeks ago, when the studio learned the details, his one scene in the film was removed within 24 hours."

Shane Black, director of the fourth installment in the sci-fi action franchise, has long been a friend of Striegel's and has frequently cast him in his films.

Director Shane Black poses for a portrait to promote the film Predator on day one of Comic-Con International. (Rebecca Cabage/Invision/AP)

Black said in a statement, "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. I believe strongly in giving people second chances — but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.

"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."

The Los Angeles Times first reported the re-editing of The Predator to remove Striegel. It said that Fox was alerted to Striegel's background by actress Olivia Munn. Munn stars in the film, and played opposite Striegel in his one scene.

Striegel plead guilty in 2010 for attempting to entice a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet. He served six months in jail. The former Melrose Place actor has previously appeared in Black's 2013 film Iron Man 3 and his 2016 comedy The Nice Guys.

Black 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."

Munn, however, told the LA Times that she refuses to “accept Shane’s apology,” because it “ wasn’t given to me personally... A real apology has to be done privately -- not just read publicly and I read it with the rest of the world.”

“Whatever small amount of power or fame that I’ve created, I’m not willing to share it with someone like that,” Munn said. “And if Shane wants to share his platform and his power with someone like that, that’s on him. But I deserve to make that choice for myself.”

The Predator releases on September 14.

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First Published: Sep 09, 2018 16:52 IST