Posted on Tuesday, February 12th, 2019 by Fred Topel
Last year’s release of The Predator was overshadowed by the news that one of its actors, Steven Wilder Striegel, was a registered sex offender. Olivia Munn, who starred in the film, brought this to the attention of 20th Century Fox and had the scene in which she appeared with Striegel removed from the film. During the course of her press for The Predator, Munn spoke out about the film’s director, Shane Black, keeping this information from the cast and crew, and about Striegel’s prior conviction for lewd correspondence with a 14-year-old.
In September, Munn said her hope was that Black would reach out to her personally. Today, Munn was on a Television Critics Association panel for her Starz series The Rook, after which /Film was able to ask her for an update on the situation.
Munn Is Waiting To Call Black Back
Pretty much the last we heard of the Striegel situation was after the premiere of The Predator when Black apologized on the red carpet for making a bad decision to hire his friend. Today, /Film asked Munn if Black had reached out to her personally like she’d hoped he would. She said he had.
“I just know that I got a message from my publicist that said he wanted to talk,” Munn said. “It’s something that now the ball is in my court and I know I have to reach out.”
That is encouraging news that Black did do the right thing and hasn’t just left Munn hanging. It’s also understandable that she is taking the time to decide when she’s ready to have this conversation.
“There was just a lot that transpired that I needed to digest,” she said. “I didn’t feel there was any big rush to have that sit down because there’s a lot that happened that I need to still weed out.”
Another mystery of the Striegel situation was how he had flown under the radar for so long without his history coming out. (Black had also cast him in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang and Iron Man Three.) Munn speaking out was the first time this came to light. /Film asked her how she found out about Streigel’s past, and Munn explained how her history as an advocate leads a lot of journalists to bring her stories, not all of which she encourages them to share.
In fact, the source who tipped her off to Striegel had just told her a story that Munn said was not reportable.
“Then in that conversation, she said, ‘Well, did you know that Shane Black hangs out with a registered sex offender,’” Munn said. “I said, ‘What are you talking about?’ She said, ‘Yeah, one of his best friends is a registered sex offender.’ I said, ‘What’s his name?’ She told me. I put her on speaker and started Googling because I remembered working with him and I was just like,‘Let me make sure.’ While she’s on speakerphone I’m like, ‘f***.’ She’s like, ‘What?’ And then she starts Googling it. She’s like, ‘Oh my gosh, he’s in your movie.’ I said, ‘I have to go.’ I knew that one, I had to immediately make sure that the scene was taken out but I also knew there was only so much time before that would get released.”
As background to how Munn carefully assesses the stories people share with her, she explained further.
“Because I’ve spoken out in the past, there will be different journalists that I know that will say, ‘Hey, this person has a story. They’re kind of afraid to come out about it. Would you talk to them?’” Munn said. “I have spoken to a lot of different people. Sometimes I’m just very blunt. I think that this movement, it’s very important that the people that speak out are helping this movement forward and that people aren’t taking missteps. And also that people feel comfortable when they speak out.”
Munn’s new series The Rook is coming to Starz this summer.
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