Just one week ahead of the release of The Predator, director Shane Black has come under fire after it was revealed that he had cast a registered sex offender in the film, and not told anyone in the production about it.
In a report early Thursday morning, it was revealed that Twentieth Century Fox had removed a scene from The Predator which featured a performance by his friend, actor Steven Wilder Striegel, who had pleaded guilty to two felonies in 2010 regarding a relationship with a 14-year-old girl online.
According to Variety, Black has since issued a statement about the situation, apologizing for the cast and crew that he lied to.
“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,” Black added.
The studio reportedly had no knowledge of Striegel's background when he was cast in the film.
“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement on Thursday to Variety. “Several weeks ago, when the studio learned the details, his one scene in the film was removed within 24 hours. We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”3comments
Striegel's one scene in The Predator involved his character hitting on Casey Bracket, played by Olivia Munn. It was Munn who initially learned of Striegel's history, which she reported to Fox on August 15. The studio immediately took action and removed the scene from the film.
The Predator is scheduled to hit theaters on September 14.