Actress Olivia Munn, who said over the weekend that she felt shunned by her castmates after speaking up about unwittingly sharing a scene in The Predator with a registered sex offender, went on Ellen Tuesday to discuss the controversy. A little background: After production had wrapped on the upcoing installment in the Predator franchise, Munn found out that Steven Wilder Striegel, a friend of director Shane Black who also appeared in Iron Man 3 and The Nice Guys, was a registered sex offender who’d done prison time over emails he sent to a 14-year-old female relative. Unhappy that she wasn’t given the chance to decide for herself whether or not to work with Striegel—Black knew about his past—Munn called Fox, and Striegel’s scene was quickly excised from the film. Since then, she’s felt “iced out” by the cast and director: Black apologized publicly, but not directly to Munn, while several cast members bailed on a group interview, leaving her to face the press alone.
Munn clarified in this interview that she wasn’t just unhappy she’d been working with a registered sex offender without getting to make the choice for herself, she also was concerned with giving someone with Striegel’s past the sort of power that came with even small roles in the movies, because “that tiny drop of fame can be used to hurt an impressionable person, and that’s just not okay.” She also said that executives at Fox “chastised” her for reaching out to her castmates when she found out, explaining that she believed the story was going to get out and didn’t want her co-workers blindsided. She also resents the pressure she felt from the studio to keep the situation a secret to help her upcoming movie, a tradeoff she wasn’t willing to make:
I don’t care if this movie gave me all the money in the world and all the power, if it costs one person’s life, they can take it. I don’t want this career.
The Predator opens on Sept. 14. Here’s Munn’s account of what happened from Ellen:
Well, the public, on social media, fans, strangers on the street, all of the news outlets have been extremely supportive, and that’s such a gift because it’s not an easy situation to be in. I did find out. He was a 38-year-old man at the time, it happened about ten years ago. He was 38 years old and went after a 14-year-old female relative. And when I found that out, I did call Fox and I said, “We have to delete the scene.” And they did, thankfully. And then I did reach out to my co-stars, individually, and said, “Hey, I want you guys to know I found this out. And I found it out through an acquaintance who wanted to know if I knew.” And I didn’t know them well enough to know if they would say something or not, but I figured, in that moment, they weren’t calling me just to, you know, just to kind of give me the heads-up. It was going to be something that would get out there. So I wanted to give my co-stars the heads-up so that they wouldn’t be blindsided like I was.
And then when it did come out—well, first of all, when I did call my co-stars, I got chastised the next day by people at the studio for telling them, and why am I not just, you know, just keeping it quiet—“It’s all gonna be okay, it got deleted, what’s the big deal?” And I said, “Well, I mean, it happened.”
And I just, you know, when you have—when we do movies, we have this reach, you know, it goes everywhere. There’s people all over the world that see what we do. And just that tiny drop of fame can be used to hurt an impressionable person, and that’s just not okay. And when I spoke out and gave a statement to the L.A. Times, which they had asked for—but they had asked the rest of my cast, I was the only one that did give a statement—I had no idea how bad the details of the case were and what happened to that girl. Until it came out in the L.A. Times on Thursday. The story should—the reality is that the people who collude to keep people like this in positions of power, that’s the real problem. The people who keep turning blind eyes.
The next thing that has been hard, that you brought up, is the support. You know, and that’s become this other story, because my cast members, nobody said anything to me privately, nobody talked to me, nobody reached out that whole day. At first I thought, maybe it’s because they just don’t know what to say, they want to stay out of the way, but privately I did feel iced out. And that’s what’s really important for people to understand. When you see something, you have to say something, however, it’s not going to be easy. And there will be people that just get mad at you for not playing the game. Especially when it’s your—I think that people expected me to be quiet, because it was my movie, but the truth is, I don’t care. Like, I don’t care if this movie gave me all the money in the world and all the power, if it costs one person’s life, they can take it. I don’t want this career.