Olivia Munn Posts About Getting a Sex Offender Ejected From Her New Movie
Olivia Munn's new film, The Predator, is making headlines not just because of its premiere but because Twentieth Century Fox pulled a scene from the film after it was revealed that director Shane Black had cast a registered sex offender to play a small part. Munn brought the situation to the attention of the studio and has now spoken out about it on social media.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Munn learned in August that Steven Wilder Striegel (credited as Steven Wilder in films), who was cast in a three-page scene with her in which he plays a jogger who repeatedly hits on her character, is a registered sex offender. Striegel pleaded guilty in 2010 to allegations that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship via the internet. He did six months in jail for risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer, which are both felonies.
In response to the situation, Munn posted a series of tweets on Thursday. In the first tweet, she wrote, "My mom taught me to stand up & say 'That’s not okay' Even if you find yourself standing alone, speak up. Even if people get mad at you, speak up. It’s not our job to stay silent so that others can stay comfortable. Use your voice to shape the world or others will shape it for us." She included an image of text that reads, "Wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it. Right is right, even if no one is doing it."
Munn also quote-tweeted Amy Kauffman, a reporter for the LA Times, who tweeted pulled quotes from Striegel's arrest affidavit. Munn wrote, "These @latimes excerpts from the arrest affidavit are beyond disturbing and completely contradict Wilder’s version of how he was convicted."
She also criticized Black's decision to cast Striegel, tweeting, "In addition to this statement, the @latimes also reported that Wilder said Shane was 'aware of the facts' of his arrest. He made a 'personal choice' to continually work with a convicted sex offender, but I didn’t have a choice. That decision was made for me. And that’s not okay."
Last fall, Munn made sexual harassment allegations against director Brett Ratner when the #MeToo movement first began making huge waves in Hollywood. She tweeted that the movement also needs to be focused on those who put sexual predators in situations where they can continue to do harm, like Black did with Striegel. Munn wrote, "The
#MeToo movement called out abusers. But they’re not the only ones in the wrong. Those who know about abuse and not only do nothing but continue to put abusers in positions of power are complicit."
And when one of Munn's followers demanded to know why she was still doing press for The Predator, she put them in their place: "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."
She also quote-tweeted her friend Thomas Sadoski, who applauded her courage in speaking out, and reiterated the importance of speaking out, even if there are potential consequences: "@ThomasSadoski Your support means so much. It’s amazing how many people expect you to put the movie first, especially if you’re the lead. On something like this- where a child has been hurt- my silence will never be for sale. And if it costs me my career they can take it."
In light of the situation, Black is changing his tune about casting Striegel, which he originally defended to the LA Times. When news reports about the situation began circulating, Black released a statement to People: “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 in giving people second chances — but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.”
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.”
Munn's decision to speak out is admirable, and she should be applauded for bringing the situation to Fox's attention. Likewise, it's great that Fox immediately pulled the scene from the film; it's disturbing that Black has cast Striegel in multiple films, even in knowing about his conviction and his status as a registered sex offender. This situation is uncomfortable and could have definitely been avoided, but hopefully, it will set a precedent for the future.