In case you haven’t heard, there is a BUNCH of drama surrounding The Predator which made the movie’s name tragically apt: Olivia Munn says she was alerted after filming that a friend of director Shane Black, whom Black had cast in the film in a small scene where he bantered with Munn, is a convicted sexual offender — he pled guilty, even — who pursued a 14-year old “distant relative” via graphic text message. I’ll pause while you retch. He served six months in jail in 2010, and Black has since cast him in at least three projects, including this one and Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys. In that linked piece, Black claims he was “misled by a friend” about the charge, the details of which he then effectively admits he never bothered to research until now even though he knew about it (“After learning more about the affidavit, transcripts and additional details surrounding Steve Striegel’s sentence…”), and then apologizes not for hiring him, necessarily, but for not giving the other actors a vote in it. It is… quite something.
Munn has given a lot of interviews about this, and spoken forcefully at all of them about the various ways in which she’s felt abandoned since using her voice. She claims the studio was slow to action and even briefly went radio silent after she alerted them to what she’d learned; she also described seeing her male co-stars give Black a standing ovation at a premiere after the news broke, and that many cast members subsequently bailed on, or left, press events at which this was an obvious topic. When Munn publicly raised an eyebrow at this, Sterling K. Brown — who was never scheduled to be at TIFF due to This Is Us — mustered up a lengthy tweet message of support that you can read here. Keegan Michael Key then claimed he reached out “in private” with kudos; Boyd Holbrook eventually also released a statement that says he backed out of some of the interviews because he didn’t want to bring further trauma upon the victim. Munn seems less than impressed:
When Munn decided to give a comment to the Times, she told Smith, she reached out to all of her co-stars privately to encourage them to make statements of their own. “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,“ Munn said. “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.”
In short, it’s messy as hell, and bravo to Olivia for standing up both to grossness and apparent indifference. It took a while for that all to unfold before statements of support were made, and that generally taints their perceived sincerity; if it takes an outcry to do the right thing, then how genuinely are you doing it? I believe this is the first time they’ve all been at an event together since that first screening, and without having done an exhaustive search, the only cast member I can find in a photo with Munn is SKB. The plot thickens.