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Fox removes scene from The Predator which featured a registered sex offender

When THE PREDATOR hits theaters next week it will one scene shorter as 20th Century Fox has removed a scene featuring Steven Wilder Striegel after it was brought to their attention that the actor, who was a long-time friend of director Shane Black, was a registered sex offender. The scene in question featured Striegel as a jogger who repeatedly hits on Olivia Munn’s character, and The LA Times says that neither the cast nor crew, aside from Black, were aware that Striegel had attempted to "lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship via the internet" who happened to be a distant relative several years ago. Striegel went on to serve six months in jail after pleading guilty to two felonies — risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer.

Olivia Munn, who was the one who brought Steven Wilder Striegel's sex offender status up to Fox executives, told The LA Times that 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, 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." A spokesperson for 20th Century Fox added that, "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."

Following Steven Wilder Striegel's release from jail, Shane Black would give his friend roles in both IRON MAN 3 and THE NICE GUYS, explaining to The LA Times that he had chosen to "help a friend" who he had long believed was "caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous." However, after reading the report from The LA Times and learning the true extent of Striegel's crimes, which included sexually explicit e-mails and physical contact such as "kissing, touching Doe’s breast over her clothing, rubbing her legs and stroking her neck" on several occasions, Shane Black issued a further statement in which he publicly apologized.

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. I believe strongly in giving people second chances, but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.

Having read this morning’s news reports, 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. I believe strongly in giving people second chances – but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped. After learning more about the affidavit, transcripts and additional details surrounding Steve Striegel’s sentence, I am deeply disappointed in myself. I apologize to all of those, past and present, I’ve let down by having Steve around them without giving them a voice in the decision.

THE PREDATOR will premiere tonight at the Toronto International Film Festival before hitting theaters on September 14th.

Source: The LA Times

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