Olivia Munn addresses Predator casting controversy aftermath, Shane Black's apology
Olivia Munn is grateful for the support that she’s received after leading the charge to get a scene in The Predator featuring a registered sex offender cut from the film. But, unfortunately, she doesn’t feel that support from her director or castmates.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles Times broke the news that Munn had alerted Twentieth Century Fox to the criminal history of Steven Wilder Striegel, a friend of director Shane Black who appeared in a small role opposite Munn. Despite the scene being cut, Black originally defended his decision to cast Striegel, before later backtracking and apologizing, saying he was “deeply disappointed” in himself.
But Munn says she has yet to hear directly from the filmmaker. “I don’t accept Shane’s apology,” she told the Times on Saturday. “It wasn’t given to me personally …. I think a real apology has to be done privately, not just read publicly, and I read it with the rest of the world. I didn’t get that call. I didn’t get any calls from any producers or anybody saying, ‘Thank you for letting us know,’ or, ‘Thank you for letting us know before the movie.’”
In another interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she added, “I did see his apology that he put out. I appreciate the apology. I would have appreciated it more if it was directed toward me privately before it went public and I had to see it online with everyone else. It’s honestly disheartening to have to fight for something so hard that is just so obvious to me. I don’t know why this has to be such a hard fight. 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. I found out, and [it] was really important to me to have the scene deleted. When the press found out, they asked for a statement, I gave a statement. I found out those details like everybody else did. It was shocking and disturbing. Now when I’m being asked about it, I don’t know how to lie about it. I don’t know how to pretend, I don’t know how to skirt around the issue. I just know how to be honest about it.”
Munn’s THR interview was apparently intended to also include other members of the cast but some reportedly backed out, with only 11-year-old Jacob Tremblay coming along. (Keegan-Michael Key was already on his way out of Toronto and Sterling K. Brown didn’t make the trip due to production on This Is Us.) “It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast,” said Munn.
In a separate interview with Vanity Fair, Munn shared her surprise at the standing ovation given to Black by some of her costars at the film’s world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. “I looked back and I see the guys standing up, and I was just confused, because I hadn’t heard from them during the day,” admitted the actress. “Everybody else was sitting down — it wasn’t like this massive standing ovation for him. I felt it was still appropriate to clap and cheer, but to actually make that gesture to stand up, especially in this moment . . . and privately I knew that no one reached out to me to say, ‘Are you O.K.?’ It did feel bad.”
Munn and other members of The Predator cast also stopped by the PEOPLE and EW studio at TIFF, but did not address the controversy at that time.
Since her comments, Brown tweeted his support and apologized for having to feel like she’s “isolated in taking action.” And a rep for Key told THR that the actor previously reached out privately to tell Munn how proud he was of her.
Munn also told Vanity Fair that upon giving comment to the Times for the original story on the cut scene, she reached out to her male costars to advise them to do the same, something none of them did.
“I wanted them to not be blindsided the way I was blindsided, and I encouraged them to put out a statement once the L.A. Times reached out to us,“ shared Munn. “I was surprised that none of them did. Again that’s their prerogative. Right now the reality is that there will be people who wear Time’s Up pins and say they support Time’s Up, [but] there will be people in Time’s Up who aren’t really down with the cause.”
The Predator, which also stars Boyd Holbrook and Trevante Rhodes, opens in theaters on Friday.