Sadly the word “predator” found a whole new meaning while on the set of director Shane Black’s upcoming film, “The Predator.”
“The Predator” stars Olivia Munn, Trevante Rhodes, and Augusto Aguilera address the controversial casting of a registered sex offender in the movie.
Apparently, the actor, Steven Wilder Striegel, is a long time friend of Black’s. Striegel served six months in jail after he pleaded guilty in 2010 to two felonies— a risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer—after facing allegations he had tried to lure a 14-year-old “distant relative” into a sexual relationship through the internet.
In a statement last week, a Fox rep said, “Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired. 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.”
On Thursday, Black issued another statement, saying, “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 said she was disappointed Black never reached out to her directly. “I think an apology has to happen privately—not just publicly,” she told Variety. “I believe in his apology that he said he apologized to everyone past and present that he’s put in that situation, and that would be me, but I didn’t get that apology. I read about it online like everyone else.” The experience has been eye-opening, she added. “There’s a point when you’re in it, everybody from the top down, they just want you to keep quiet and do anything to help the movie. They’re doing some Jedi mind trick, like, ‘These aren’t the people you’re looking for,” and I’m like, ‘That’s not working on me!’
The Predator arrives in theaters September 14th, 2018.