HomeAsian AmericansBacklash against Olivia Munn after she strikes a blow against sexual predator

Backlash against Olivia Munn after she strikes a blow against sexual predator

This scene from The Predator with Olivia Munn and Steven Wilder Striegel was deleted prior to the movie’s release.

Views From the Edge

Even though  the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns have brought greater awareness of sexual misconduct, the entertainment industry is still struggling with inappropriate behavior on sets and on the casting couch. 

Since the revelations about movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, many actresses have come forward with their experiences as victims of powerful Hollywood figures.

Asian American actress Olivia Munn took action against a registered sex offender and suffered the consequence of being made to feel like she was the one who did something wrong when her fellow cast members failed to immediately support her.

Shane Black, director of The Predator, apologized publicly for casting Steven Wilder Striegel, who is a registered sex offender, but that apology didn’t satisfy Munn.

Black, who is Striegel’s longtime friend, was aware of the actor’s past when he chose to cast Striegel in the movie. Striegel had a small part in a scene with Munn. The scene was cut at Munn’s insistence, who brought Striegel’s past to Fox’s attention weeks ago. She said she found it surprising and unsettling that Black did not mention Striegel’s sex-offender status to the cast and crew.

Munn told Ellen Degeneres that she felt “chastised” by the studio for telling her costars about Striegel, whose past she learned about from an acquaintance. She felt isolated from her costars after telling them even though it was to ensure they weren’t blindsided by the news. (She did not learn full details of Striegel’s case until the L.A. Times published a story about it).

Striegel pleaded guilty in 2010 to having an online relationship with his “distant relative,” a then-14-year-old girl (he maintains there was no physical contact, but the allegations say there was). 
At the Toronto International Film Festival, where The Predator was premiered, she was surprised and hurt when the other members of the cast gave Black a standing ovation even though they were blindsided, as Munn was, by the news of Striegel’s past. She told reporters that she felt shunned by her castmates.

During a scheduled interview with The Hollywood ReporterMunn said her co-stars bailed on her, with the exception of 11-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay.

“It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast,” Munn told THR. “I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people that I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one that put this guy on set.”

Predator co-star Boyd Holbrook admitted on Instagram that indeed he “did pull out of a small amount of press on Saturday, as this type of social commentary is new to me …”

Since Munn’s feeling of being shunned became known, Holbrook issued this statement on his Instagram account:

“The people who collude to keep people like this in positions of power, that’s the real problem, the people who keep turning blind eyes,” Munn says.

Since Munn’s statements in her interview, several other costars have issued statements s including This Is Us star Sterling Brown:

Munn continued: “It’s amazing how many people expect you to put the movie first, especially if you’re the lead. On something like this – where a child has been hurt – my silence will never be for sale. And if it costs me my career they can take it.”

The Predator will have its general release this Friday, Sept. 14.


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