The Predator (Imdb)

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‘The Predator’ Cuts Scene Featuring Registered Sex Offender

Actor Steven Wilder Striegel is a longtime friend of director Shane Black.

Twentieth Century Fox was finishing up The Predator when an urgent note came in: Delete the scene featuring Steven Wilder Striegel, reports The Los Angeles Times. Striegel is a longtime friend of director Shane Black, and he didn’t have a huge role in the movie, just a three-page scene with actress Olivia Munn. But last month, Munn learned 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.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Munn shared the information with Fox on Aug. 15, and studio executives quickly decided to remove him from the film.

“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement to The Times. “We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”

However, Black has always known. When Striegel was arrested in 2009, the two had been friends for five years. He served six months in jail, and landed a role after his release in Black’s Iron Man 3. Three years later, he got another part in one of Black’s projects, The Nice Guys. And in 2016, Black told GQ he was trying to producer a heist film by “my friend Steve Wilder.” Black has defended his decision to cast Striegel in a small part in The Predator — the role was a jogger who reportedly hits on Munn’s character.

“I personally chose to help a friend,” Black said in a written statement to The Times. “I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.”

Read the full story at The Los Angeles Times