20th Century Fox omitted a scene from The Predator after it had discovered that one of its actors is a registered sex offender.
The actor, Steven Wilder Striegel, is a friend of director Shane Black. Reports stated that Black is aware of Striegel's background. The actor notably pleaded guilty to an online relationship with a minor in 2010. This prompted the studio to quickly edit Striegel's scene out before the movie premieres on the big screen.
According to Striegel, the minor is his distant relative who became close to him via e-mails, however, the e-mails turned explicit. The actor was arrested in 2009 and suspected to commit many cases of physical contact. However, Striegel said that the allegations were not true.
Director Shane Black Airs His Side
At the time of the case, the director and Striegel have known each other for quite a number of years. Since he was convicted, the director has hired him to be a part of Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys, and even Black's future films. The studio announced that it did not know about Striegel committing sexual crimes.
In a statement to the LA Times, the director explained that he personally decided to help out a friend.
"I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly," Black said.
However, after the director had read a report that contained the e-mail exchange of his friend and the minor, he apologized and said that his decision of hiring him was wrong.
"Having read this morning's news reports, it has sadly become clear to me that I was misled by a friend I really wanted to believe was telling me the truth when he described the circumstances of his conviction," he said in a statement.
He added that although he believed in giving second chances to individuals, sometimes, people find out that the chance given is not as deserved as initially hoped. He continued that after he had learned more about his friend's case, he felt very upset with himself.
The director also apologized to the people he disappointed by hiring the actor on his team without giving them an opportunity to voice out their opinions.
Steven Wilder Striegel's Role In 'The Predator'
In the movie, Striegel portrayed a character who hit on its lead Casey, played by Olivia Munn. The scene was reportedly three pages. When the famous actress found out about Striegel, she encouraged the studio to boot the actor out and even stated that it was unsettling that the director did not inform the production about Striegel's status.
The Predator premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 6 and is set to be released in theaters on Sept. 14. The film also stars Jacob Tremblay, Sterling K. Brown, and Boyd Holbrook.