Twentieth Century Fox has reportedly cut a scene from its upcoming film “The Predator” after actress Olivia Munn told the studio that Steven Wilder Striegel, who appeared in a scene with Munn in the movie, was a registered sex offender.
The scene was deleted two weeks ago after Munn, who also appeared in such films as “X-Men: Apocalypse” and previously accused director Brett Ratner of sexual misconduct, approached 20th Century Fox with the disturbing discovery.
Director Shane Black apologized for his role in casting the actor in the movie.
Initially, Black had defended his choice in casting Striegel.
He said in a public statement, “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 learning more details about Striegel’s offenses, which involved attempting to entice a 14-year-old “distant relative” to have sex with him, a more contrite Black issued a fuller, public apology.
“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,” he said in the public apology.
“I believe strongly in giving people second chances, but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped,” he continued.
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.”
Emails from Striegel to the Los Angeles Times indicate his charges from 2010 were based exclusively on emails with the child in question.
An arrest warrant affidavit, however, alleges physical contact as well.
Striegel served six months in jail in 2010 after pleading guilty to risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer.
Black had also cast his “friend” in 2013’s “Iron Man 3” and 2016’s “The Nice Guys.”
Many have been celebrating Munn’s discovery on social media.
Kudos to @oliviamunn for blowing the whistle on director Shane Black's hiring and inclusion of convicted pedophile Steven Striegel from The Predator.
— Sil Lai Abrams (@Sil_Lai) September 6, 2018
Good on Olivia Munn for speaking out. Overall, Shane Black is so trash for doing this AND not disclosing it. pic.twitter.com/tVtyLFqEpI
— Maritza Lugo (@PolaRoid_Rage) September 6, 2018
Striegel was in Nice Guys and Iron Man 3, which also prominently featured kid actors. If it was my kid, I don’t know if I’d lead with legal action or fists against Shane Black.
— Matchity (uncensored version) (@Matchity) September 6, 2018
“The Predator” hits theaters on September 14.
Michele Blood is a Flemington, New Jersey-based freelance writer and a regular contributor to LifeZette.