The Predator Deletes Scene Featuring Registered Sex Offender
The Predator star Olivia Munn comments on deleted scene.
As The Predator prepares for its world premiere screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, it's now been revealed that a sizable change has been made to the film. A scene featuring star Olivia Munn has been deleted from the final cut due to one of the actors it featured.
According to the LA Times, the scene in question featured actor Steven Wilder Striegel, a longtime friend of The Predator director Shane Black who appeared in a scene where he hits on Munn's character. It was removed after 20th Century Fox, the studio behind the movie, learned that Striegel is a registered sex offender. In a statement, Fox said, "Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel's background when he was hired. We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors."
His status as a sex offender stems from pleading guilty to charges of risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer in 2010, for which he served six months in jail. Following his release, Black cast him in small roles in both The Nice Guys and Iron Man 3.
In a statement to the Times, Black defended his casting choice. "I personally chose to help a friend," he said. "I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly."
The director, however, changed his stance after reading the story in the Times. "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, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "I believe strongly in giving people second chances--but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped."
Black continued, "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."
For her part, Munn 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." However, she credits the studio for removing this piece of the movie. "I am 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," she told the Times in a statement.
Additionally, Striegel himself has spoken out. "I've known Shane Black 14 years, well before this incident, and I think it's worth noting that he was aware of the facts," he said to the Times. "Shane can speak for himself, but I'm quite certain that if he felt I was a danger in any way to have around, he would not have."
Now, with the scene removed and the picture locked, The Predator is ready for audiences to see. It hits theaters on September 14.
Original story has been updated to include a second statement from director Shane Black.
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