According to the Los Angeles Times, Twentieth Century Fox has removed a scene from their upcoming sci-fi thriller The Predator because it features actor Steven Wilder Striegel who is a registered sex offender.
- Fox was made aware of Striegel’s past when the film’s star Olivia Munn alerted them last month.
- Striegel was only featured in one scene in the film, which he shared with Munn.
- Director Shane Black is a longtime friend of Striegel’s.
- The actor served six months in jail after pleading guilty to two felonies in 2010, facing allegations that he had pursued a sexual relationship with a 14 year old over the Internet.
- The change to the film comes just days away from its theatrical release on September 14.
The Disney Connection:
- The Predator franchise is among the Fox assets Disney will be acquiring as part of their $71.3 billion deal.
- Striegel’s first role after his release from jail was in Black’s 2013 film Iron Man 3, a film distributed by Disney.
What they’re saying:
- A Fox spokesperson: “Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired. We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”
- Director Shane Black: “I personally chose to help a friend. I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.”
- Steven Wilder Striegel: “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. 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.”
- Olivia Munn said she found the situation: “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.”
- Munn on Fox’s reaction: “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.”