Olivia Munn says ‘Predator’ cast shunned her after she blew whistle on sex offender
Olivia Munn says she’s getting the cold shoulder from “The Predator” cast after flagging 20th Century Fox that an actor in the reboot of the franchise is a registered sex offender.
The news resulted in Fox cutting a scene from the film with actor Steven Wilder Striegel, who pleaded guilty in 2010 for trying to entice a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship on the Internet. (Striegel is a longtime friend of “The Predator” director Shane Black)
“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” Fox told The Associated Press on Thursday just hours before the sci-fi movie premiered at Toronto International Film Festival. “Several weeks ago, when the studio learned the details, his one scene in the film was removed within 24 hours.”
Munn – who plays scientist Casey Bracket in the movie, which arrives in theaters on Sept. 14 – tweeted that audiences will love it “now that the scene is deleted,” in light of the #MeToo and Time’s Up era.
Munn, 38, has continued to promote “The Predator” since blowing the whistle on Striegel, but her fellow cast members haven’t been supportive. During a scheduled interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Munn said her co-stars bailed on her, with the exception of 11-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay.
“It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast,” Munn told THR. “I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people that I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one that put this guy on set.”
In a series of tweets, Munn explained why she continues to promote the fourth installment in the action franchise amid some backlash from her peers.
“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,” she tweeted Thursday.
Munn continued: “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.”
One of Munn’s co-stars, Emmy-winning actor Sterling K. Brown, took to Twitter to apologize to the actress for feeling alone. (He didn’t attend Toronto Film Festival.)
Brown said “our studio was not given that opportunity” to know who they were working with, especially Munn who appeared in the deleted scene opposite Striegel: “I so appreciate that you ‘didn’t leave well enough alone.’ ”
He continued: “Thank you to @20thcenturyfox for taking quick action in deleting the scene. @oliviamunn I hope you don’t feel quite so alone. You did the right thing.”
Co-star Keegan-Michael Key, who left the film festival early to observe a religious holiday, followed suit. “Keegan reached out to Olivia privately last week to let her know how proud he was of her and echoed that sentiment in many interviews since then,” his publicist Jillian Roscoe said in a statement emailed to USA TODAY.
Munn appeared to object to director Black, who was aware of Striegel’s legal problems, on Twitter Thursday: “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.”
Munn told The Hollywood Reporter that Black has not spoken to her since the scene was deleted.
“I haven’t heard from Shane. I did see his apology … I would have appreciated it more if it was directed toward me privately before it went public and I had to see it online with everyone else,” she said. “It’s honestly disheartening to have to fight for something so hard that is just so obvious to me.”
Black has frequently cast Striegel in his films, including 2013’s “Iron Man 3” and 2016’s “The Nice Guys.”
Black said in a statement on Thursday: “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 strongly in giving people second chances – but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.”
Munn stars in the film alongside Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes and Thomas Jane, in addition to “This Is Us” star Brown, “Room” breakout Tremblay and Key.