It’s been revealed that 20th Century Fox was forced to cut a scene from The Predator after executives discovered it featured a registered sex offender, in a statement to the LA Times.
Steven Wilder Striegel, a friend of Predator director Shane Black, pleaded guilty in 2010 after facing allegations that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet. He served six months in prison.
The studio was unaware of Striegel’s conviction. The information was relayed to them by Olivia Munn, who shared the scene with Striegel – he was playing a jogger who ‘repeatedly hits on’ Munn.
“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement. “We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”
The first role Striegel was given following his release from prison was in Black’s 2013 Marvel movie, Iron Man 3. Three years later, he was cast in Black’s buddy cop comedy The Nice Guys.
Following The Nice Guys, the actor also appeared in Last Man Club (2016), Swing State (2017), and Dirty Lies (2017).
“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,” Striegel said. “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.”
“This was an enormously unfortunate chapter in my life, and one that I took, and continue to take, personal responsibility for,” he continued. “If I had even an inkling that my involvement with ‘The Predator’ would be a point of difficulty for Shane Black, or cast any kind of shadow over a movie that I wish only great success for, I would, of course, never have been involved in any capacity.”
Munn said she found it “both surprising and unsettling that Shane Black, our director, did not share this information to the cast, crew, or Fox Studios prior to, during, or after production.”
“However,” she continued, “I am relieved that when Fox finally did receive the information, the studio took appropriate action by deleting the scene featuring Wilder prior to release of the film.”
Munn shared a pertinent image on Instagram this morning, which now feels like it could be relevant to this story – either way, it’s a good message to end on.