Olivia Munn is willing to risk her career to continue to speak out against bad behaviour in Hollywood after discovering a registered sex offender featured in her new movie The Predator.
The actress shared a small scene with Steven Wilder Striegel in his director pal Shane Black’s sci-fi film, but Olivia only discovered last month (Aug18) that he had served time behind bars after he was accused of trying to coax a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship over the Internet in 2010.
She brought the news to Twentieth Century Fox studio bosses’ attention and they ended up cutting his scene from the finished movie.
The controversy was made public on Thursday (06Sep18) in a Los Angeles Times article, which detailed the allegations made against Striegel, who spent six months in jail after pleading guilty to felony charges of risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer.
Munn admitted she found it “both surprising and unsettling” that Black had failed to notify cast and crew about Striegel’s criminal history, but the filmmaker initially defended the convicted felon’s casting, insisting he just wanted to help out a friend, who he believed had been “caught up in a bad situation”.
However, after reading through email correspondence between Striegel and the teenager, published as part of the Times piece, he issued an apology, claiming he had been “misled” over the seriousness of the charges.
Munn has since addressed the scandal in a series of new Twitter messages, including a response to one comment from her former The Newsroom co-star Thomas Sadoski, who had shared a link to the article in question and applauded the actress for speaking out.
“My friend @oliviamunn has courage and integrity to f**king spare,” he captioned the post.
Thanking him for the kind words, Olivia replied, “@ThomasSadoski Your support means so much. 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,” she defiantly added. “And if it costs me my career they can take it.”
Olivia also responded to a follower who questioned why she was still promoting The Predator in light of the scandal.
“I’m contractually obligated,” she wrote. “And from what I’m experiencing, I think they’d (critics) prefer I not show up. It would make everyone breathe easier. Also, I worked really hard on this film, as did the rest of the cast and crew. Now that the scene is deleted I think audiences will love it.”
Munn, who previously accused filmmaker Brett Ratner of sexual harassment, also urged others aware of inappropriate behaviour to do what they can to put a stop to it.
“The #MeToo movement (against sexual misconduct) called out abusers. But they’re not the only ones in the wrong,” she shared in another tweet. “Those who know about abuse and not only do nothing but continue to put abusers in positions of power are complicit.”
The Predator, which also stars Boyd Holbrook and Sterling K. Brown, is due to open in theatres next week (ends14Sep18).