Olivia Munn is facing backlash over her objections to having a registered sex offender appear in her new movie, The Predator. The controversy started when Munn voiced her concerns over the hiring of actor Steven Wilder Striegel. She says that she and her fellow cast mates were unaware of Striegel’s criminal record. Munn was the first to bring the issue to light and in subsequent interviews, has said that she feels unfairly singled out for simply being vocal about the situation.

What happened, exactly?

The Huffington Post reports that Striegel was hired to appear in one of the film’s scenes. Striegel was cast as a favor to director Shane Black, who allegedly knew of his criminal past.

Striegel did film, but his scene (which involved him hitting on Olivia Munn) was removed from the movie’s final cut. While promoting the film at the Toronto International Film Festival, the subject of Striegel came up and Munn said that it was “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.”

The Los Angeles Times reports that Striegel “is a registered sex offender who pleaded guilty in 2010 after facing allegations that he attempted to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet.” Neither Munn nor the rest of the cast was aware of it. A Fox spokesperson told the Times that studios can’t run background checks because of legal limitations.

Olivia Munn Creative Coalition 2018 Spotlight Initiative Gala Awards Dinner

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Who came out to support her?

Sterling K. Brown, Munn’s co-star, tweeted a message of support. He was not in attendance at the film festival and apologized to Munn and acknowledged that she felt isolated during the entire ordeal — and that she shouldn’t be going through it alone.

“I’m sorry you’re feeling so isolated, my dear. And I’m sorry you’ve been the only one to speak up publicly,” Brown wrote in a series of tweets.

“We all have the right to know who we’re working with! And when someone has been convicted of a crime of a sexual nature involving a child, we have the right to say it’s not okay! Our studio was not given that opportunity, and neither was our cast.”

What did Black say?

The film’s director issued an official statement, saying that Striege had misrepresented himself. 

“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,” reads Black’s message. “I believe strongly in giving people second chances ― but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.”

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What about Munn’s other co-stars?

Munn told Vanity Fair that one of her co-stars “walked out” of an interview when the subject of Striegel came up. Boyd Holbrook, Thomas Jane, and Trevante Rhodes, who star in the film alongside Munn and Jacob Tremblay, have not made any official statements.

“I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people like I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one who put this guy on our set,” Munn said during an interview with The Hollywood Reporter.

Keegan-Michael Key, released a statement through his representative, which read, “Furthermore, 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.”

What now?

Munn said that she’s continuing to promote the movie, but only because she’s “contractually obligated” to do so.

“From what I’m experiencing, I think they’d prefer I not show up. It would make everyone breathe easier. Also, I worked really hard on this film, as did the rest of the cast and crew. Now that the scene is deleted I think audiences will love it.”

She also mentioned the #MeToo movement, saying that it’s not only abusers that are in the wrong, but also the people who know about abuse and don’t do anything about it are also abusing their positions of power.

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Munn summed up her attitude towards the whole ordeal in a single tweet, saying that her mother taught her to stand up for herself, even if it means standing alone. “Even if people get mad at you, speak up. It’s not our job to stay silent so that others can stay comfortable. Use your voice to shape the world or others will shape it for us.”

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