Shane Black isn’t making any excuses about the controversy surrounding his latest movie The Predator. The filmmaker hired his friend, Steven Wilder Striegel, to play a small part in a scene opposite Olivia Munn. Striegel is a known sex offender and once Munn got wind of it, she reported the information to Fox and they immediately ordered his scene be cut from the movie. Despite that, the ordeal has cast a shadow over The Predator and Black, in a new statement, acknowledges that this debacle is all on him.
During the movie’s recent premiere, Shane Black was asked about the situation regarding the casting of Steven Wilder Striegel, who plead guilty to two felonies in 2010 including risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer. Black does not mince words and doesn’t try to divert responsibility, taking every opportunity to place the blame squarely on himself and to apologize once again. Here’s what Black had to say.
“I made an error of judgment that is irresponsible. I’m not just a kid who can say, you know, we’re making movies in college, put your buddy in the movie. This is an adult decision with real responsibilities. And I didn’t vet somebody. And it doesn’t matter that I was shocked at these emails, or that he misrepresented, my friends and I, oh my god. It doesn’t matter. I was the captain of that ship, it’s my job to make sure that those things don’t happen, you see? And I failed, and I may have caused, I did cause pain to people in the cast. That’s unacceptable. I take full responsibility. I’m very, deeply sorry. I mean, I think about this a lot. I hope I learn from this, because it really bothers me that this movie which could have been with these beautiful people and a beautiful night, all of this, has been overshadowed in some ways by a stupid decision that I made. I’m very sorry to anybody.”
In the clip, the director appears to get choked up while speaking. His words don’t repair his error in judgment, nor can they fix the damage that has been done as a result of that judgment. However, he does appear to be genuine in his sorrow and truly apologetic nature. Black had previously issued a public apology once word got out that Fox had ordered the scene be cut.
Olivia Munn has been very outspoken about the situation and originally didn’t accept Shane Black’s apology, as it wasn’t made to her directly. Just recently, Paige Carnes stepped forward to identify herself as the victim of Steven Wilder Striegel’s crimes and thanked Munn in a statement for her actions. Previously, Carnes’ identity was unknown as she was a minor at the time of Striegel’s conviction and was simply identified as Jane Doe in court documents.
This is undoubtedly a bad situation, but Fox did what they could by cutting the scene from the movie. The studio claimed to have no knowledge of the actor’s past prior to Olivia Munn bringing it to their attention. To what degree this affects The Predator‘s success remains to be seen. The movie hasn’t been getting great reviews so far, though, it is expected to top the box office this weekend. You can see the clip of Shane Black providing the statement via the AP Entertainment Twitter account for yourself below.
— AP Entertainment (@APEntertainment) September 13, 2018