Making decisions is not always easy in the entertainment industry. The lines should, however, be clearly drawn when it comes to choosing the public’s safety over interpersonal relationships. Twentieth Century Fox was also caught up in a whirlwind of controversy when they decided to pull a scene from their 2018 film The Predator after it was revealed that the director, Shane Black, had cast his friend, who was a registered s*x offender.
Fred Dekker co-wrote The Predator, the fourth entry in the Predator series of action science fiction movies. The cast of this Twentieth Century Fox film included Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Olivia Munn, Keegan-Michael Key, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen, and Sterling K. Brown.
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When Fox Studios Had To Cut A Scene From The Predator
Shane Black cast his longtime friend Steven Wilder Striegel in a minor, unauditioned role in The Predator, where his character tried to flirt with Olivia Munn’s character, Casey Brackett. Striegel has been listed as a felony s*x offender since his guilty plea in 2010 for trying to use email to entice a 14-year-old girl into a s*xual relationship.
With this information coming to light, Twentieth Century Fox was compelled to reevaluate some of its decisions. The Los Angeles Times reported that the film studio received an urgent note just days before the screening of The Predator at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival):
“Delete the scene featuring Steven Wilder Striegel.”
Striegel only appeared in a three-page scene with Munn in his longtime friend’s remake of the sci-fi thriller. In a statement to the Los Angeles Times, a Fox representative claimed:
“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.”
Striegel first met Black when he accepted an invitation from a friend to the Lethal Weapon screenwriter’s house for pizza and a movie.
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Shane Black Expressed Regret For Casting A S*xual Offender In The Predator
After admitting guilt to two felonies—putting a child in danger and enticing a minor online—Steven Wilder Striege was given a six-month prison term. However, Shane Black defended his decision to cast his long-time friend as a supporting character in The Predator. The former claimed in a written statement to the Los Angeles Times:
“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.”
However, Black claimed that he had long believed Striegel was
“Caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous.”
In the movie, Striegel claimed that he was not required to attend an audition, as he wrote in an email (via Los Angeles Times):
“The character I played was named after a mutual friend of ours, and it seemed a good fit. 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.”
The scene involved Striegel’s character pursuing Olivia Munn’s character. After Munn informed the production company that the former was a known s*x offender, Fox decided to cut his scene.
The Toronto International Film Festival hosted The Predator’s world premiere on September 6, 2018. The film was later released in US theaters on September 14, 2018. It earned $160.5 million worldwide against a $88 million budget, despite receiving mixed reviews from critics and viewers.
You can stream The Predator on FuboTV.
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