As the Toronto International Film Festival kicked into gear last week, much of the discussion around the film Predator, which showed at the festival, hasn’t been about the film, but about director Shane Black’s decision to cast a longtime friend and registered sexual offender in the film without alerting his cast-mates to his history.
Actress Olivia Munn was the only actor in the film who appeared opposite Steven Wilder Striegel, who pleaded guilty in 2010 to attempting to entice a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship, writes Entertainment Tonight. When she found out about his history, she demanded that director Black cut the scene from the film, which he did.
Munn has been vocal about the situation involving Black and Striegler—but until recently, she was the only one speaking about it at length with reporters. Munn, who’s been promoting the film at TIFF, called out her costars for shunning her while giving Black a standing ovation at the festival.
According to Munn, co-stars including Boyd Holbrook, Thomas Jane, Trevante Rhodes, and Keegan-Michael Key declined to give public statements addressing the Striegel casting. She also said that one co-star left an interview when the topic came up. The actress has since been promoting the film — which she tweeted she is “contractually obligated” to do — with its youngest cast member, 11-year-old Jacob Tremblay.
Sterling K. Brown, who also stars in the film, addressed Munn via Twitter, apologizing that his co-star has been the only one “to speak up publicly.”
“I’m sorry you’re feeling so isolated, my dear,” Brown began, adding he was not at TIFF so he couldn’t be there with her.
In the Twitter thread posted early Sunday morning, Brown discussed forgiveness and that Munn and Shane Black may have different attitudes about whether Striegel should be forgiven for his crimes. This is a bit of a digression before he gets to the heart of the matter—and the issue that Munn had with the entire debacle—which is that no one on the cast was told about Striegel’s background.
“Our studio was not given that opportunity, and neither was our cast. Especially @oliviamunn who was the only member of the principal cast who had to work with him,” Brown said, adding, “I so appreciate that you ‘didn’t leave well enough alone,’ & again, I’m sorry you feel isolated in taking action.”
He also reiterated that she had done “the right thing.”
Keegan-Michael Key also released a statement on Sunday through his rep, which was given to The Hollywood Reporter. (It was a THR interview that Munn says her castmates backed out of.)
THR acknowledged that Key was not among the actors scheduled for an interview, which his rep confirmed.
“He was always departing TIFF early so he could be home to spend the Jewish holiday with his wife,” the rep said. “Furthermore, Keegan reached out to Olivia privately last week to let her know how proud he was of her and echoed that sentiment in many interviews since then.”
Meanwhile, costars Thomas Jane, Trevante Rhodes and Augusto Aguilera continue to receive criticism online for how they’ve responded to the debacle. Rhodes, in particular, said he wasn’t disappointed in director Shane [Black], he was “disappointed in the situation.”
Which, it should be made clear, Shane Black created.