Sex Offender’s Scenes Get Booted from New Sci-fi Movie THE PREDATOR
By Tess Farrand, Staff Writer
Just before 20th Century Fox’s sci-fi movie, THE PREDATOR releases (in theaters on September 14th) post-production teams are making some changes to what audiences will see. In the problematic scene, Olivia Munn (DATE NIGHT, NEW GIRL), gets into a fight with a background character. Later, Munn learned that this background extra, Steven Wilder Striegel, is a sex offender.
In 2010, Striegel served six months in prison after pleading guilty for trying to start a relationship with a 14-year old girl from Connecticut over the internet. At the time, Striegel was 38 years old and residing in California. Once Munn learned of his background in mid-August, she quickly told the executive team of THE PREDATOR.
There’s some irony to this story as the movie centers around a “predator”, but all the while, the cast, and crew had no idea one was on set. Turns out, the director and co-writer of the script, Shane Black, is a friend of a Striegel and hired him. Now, Black regrets trying to help a friend with work rather than doing a more thorough background check. “After learning more about the affidavit, transcripts and additional details surrounding Steve Striegel’s sentence, I am deeply disappointed in myself.” Black added, “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 pair had also worked together on IRON MAN 3 as well as THE NICE GUYS.
The sad part is that Black knew about Striegel’s history and failed to enlighten his team and cast members.
A spokesperson told Variety this week, “Several weeks ago, when the studio learned the details, his one scene in the film was removed within 24 hours. We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”
Striegel made a statement in defense of his longtime pal. “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 continued, 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.”
When Munn was asked via Twitter why she was still doing press for the movie she responded with a tone of positivity as the media frenzy dies down.
I’m contractually obligated. And from what I’m experiencing, I think they’d prefer I not show up. It would make everyone breathe easier. Also, I worked really hard on this film, as did the rest of the cast and crew. Now that the scene is deleted I think audiences will love it. https://t.co/6MZxb4NZfT
— om (@oliviamunn) September 7, 2018
This marks yet another movie in the PREDATOR series that dates back to the 1980’s. The movie also stars Sterling K. Brown (THIS IS US).
Be sure to check back for our review of PREDATOR next week.