Olivia Munn has decided to speak out against the production team behind ‘The Predator’ for casting a registered sex offender in the film. Munn discussed her choice to speak out and facing the potential backlash while visiting ‘The Ellen DeGeneres Show’ earlier this week.
Upon learning that Steven Wilder Striegel is registered sex offender, Munn reached out to Fox and his scene was subsequently removed from the film. Striegel was in the film as a jogger who hits on Munn’s character and is reportedly a longtime friend of the film’s director Shane Black.
Several members of the film’s cast have backed out of promotional events for the film after learning of Striegel’s past. In fact, Munn herself along with Jacob Tremblay were the only two that showed up for The Hollywood Reporter’s Video Lounge at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the film premiered.
While on ‘Ellen,’ Munn discussed the support they have received from multiple sources. She said:
“The public, social media, fans, strangers on the street, all of the news outlets have been extremely supportive and that’s such a gift because it’s not an easy situation to be in. It happened about 10 years ago, he’s 38 years old and went after a 14-year-old female relative and when I found that out, I did call Fox and I said, ‘We have to delete this scene,’ and they did, thankfully.”
Munn added that once she found out about Striegel, she reached out to her coworkers and castmates to fill them in. She said:
“I did reach out to my co-stars individually and said, ‘Hey, I want you guys to know I found this out. I found out through an acquaintance who wanted to know if I knew and I didn’t know them well enough to know if they would say something or not, but I figured in that moment they weren’t calling me just to kind of give me the heads-up.”
She also explained that the studio was not happy with her for exposing Striegel, saying:
“It was going to be something that got out there, so I wanted to give my costars a heads-up so that they wouldn’t be blindsided like I was. When I did call my costars, I got chastised the next day by the studio for telling them, and ‘Why am I just not keeping it quiet? It’s all going to be OK. It got deleted. What’s the big deal?’ And I said, ‘Well, it happened.'”
She continued, saying:
“When you do movies, we have this reach. It goes everywhere, you know. There’s people in the world that see what we do and just that tiny drop of fame can be used to hurt an impressionable person and that’s not OK and when I spoke out and gave a statement to the LA Times, which they had asked for, they had asked the rest of my cast. I was the only one that did give a statement. I had no idea how bad the details of the case were and what happened to that girl until it came out in the LA Times on Thursday.”
The Los Angeles Times was the first to report that Striegel had exchanged emails of a sexual nature with the minor. He pled guilty and spent six months in prison. Munn expressed her frustration with issues like this being kept secret in the industry, saying:
“The reality is that the people that collude to keep people like this in positions of power, that’s the real problem. The people who keep turning blind eyes.”
Munn also expressed feeling “iced out” by her castmates after exposing the news. She said:
“My castmembers, nobody said anything to me about it. Nobody talked to me. Nobody reached out that whole day. At first I thought maybe it’s because they just don’t know what to say, they want to stay out of the way. But privately I did feel iced out and I think that’s what’s really important for people to understand is when you see something, you have to say something. However, it’s not going to be easy and there will be people that just get mad at you for not playing the game.”
“I think that people expected me to be quiet because it’s my movie, but the truth is I don’t care. I don’t care if this movie gave me all the money in the world and all the power. If it cost one person’s life, they can take it. I don’t want this career.”