'The Predator' Director Gets Emotional While Apologizing for Sex Offender Casting

The Predator director Shane Black offered an emotional apology for his "stupid decision" to cast friend and registered sex offender Steven Striegel in a bit role.

"I made an error of judgement that is irresponsible. I'm not just a kid who can say, 'We're making movies in college, put your buddy in the movie,'" Black told AP Entertainment. "This is an adult decision with real responsibilities, and I didn't vet somebody."

Black said Striegel, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to allegations he attempted to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship online, "misrepresented" himself and that he was "shocked" at the correspondence between Striegel and his victim, Paige Carnes, who has since stepped forward and identified herself in the wake of the ongoing controversy.

"I was the captain of that ship. It's my job to make sure that those things don't happen. And I failed," Black said. "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."

Actress Olivia Munn was the first to raise issue with Striegel's casting after sharing a scene with him, where he played a jogger that repeatedly hit on Munn's disinterested character. The scene was deleted ahead of The Predator's theatrical release and Munn said in breaking the news she was left feeling like she was "being chased by everyone and isolated."

"I think about this a lot. I hope I learn from this," Black said, adding it "really bothers" him that the movie and its cast have been "overshadowed in some ways by a stupid decision that I made."

Black came under fire on social media last week both for his decision to knowingly cast a sex offender and not inform those who would be working with Striegel, and for initial comments made to the Los Angeles Times, where he said of casting Striegel, "I personally chose to help a friend. I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly."

The filmmaker later issued a new comment on his friend of fourteen years, saying he was "misled by a friend I really wanted to believe was telling me the truth when he described the circumstances of his conviction."

Black said he was "deeply disappointed" in himself and extended an apology "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 had previously cast Striegel in bit roles in Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys.

Sterling K. Brown has since broken his silence on the controversy and apologized to Munn, who admitted she had seen no support from her co-stars since alerting studio 20th Century Fox to Striegel's sordid history.


Speaking out publicly for the first time, Carnes said in a statement she has "no shame for what was done to me. I am not the one who needs to carry that shame." Carnes thanked Munn and said "I hope anyone who has suffered like I have regains their voice and their humanity."