After The Predator star Olivia Munn spoke out about a sexual predator being cast in the movie, the actress' co-stars are finally starting to defend her, the latest being Boyd Holbrook. Last week, just one day before The Predator held its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, it was revealed that Munn issued a complaint to the studio, 20th Century Fox, after learning that director Shane Black had cast one of his close friends, Steven Wilder Striegel, while not telling other members of the cast that he was a registered sex offender. Fox moved quickly to remove the scene, where Striegel plays a jogger who repeatedly tries to charm Munn's character. But that was only the start of the controversy.
After it was revealed that Striegel was a registered sex offender, Jake Busey spoke out and said it was the right move to remove this scene from the theatrical cut, while Munn added over the weekend that she still has not spoken to director Shane Black since learning that he cast a registered sex offender in a scene with her. While Munn was one of many stars of The Predator to appear at the TIFF world premiere, Sterling K. Brown was not one of them, although he offered his support through social media. However, the rest of the cast has yet to speak out publicly about this ordeal.
The Los Angeles Times reports that several of Munn's co-stars, including Boyd Holbrook, Augusto Aguilera and Trevante Rhodes backed out of group interviews with Munn, where the subject of Striegel's casting was being brought up. An anonymous source claimed the actors backed out because they were uncomfortable with the interviews, although 20th Century Fox said in a statement that all of the stars fulfilled their press obligations, but added that, "there are always last-minute scheduling shifts." Now, Boyd Holbrook has issued a statement through Deadline, confirming that he did back out of the interviews, while offering his support to Munn.
I want to start by apologizing for this statement coming late in the current conversation. I do not take any of what has gone on lightly, and I want to speak from the most honest and genuine place possible. I have stated before, and I will state it again, I am proud of Olivia for the way that she handled a difficult and alarming situation, and I am grateful that Fox took the information seriously and took action swiftly.
It is true that I pulled out of a small amount of press on Saturday, as this type of social commentary is new to me and given the nature of the originating crime, I felt further discussion could cause unwanted trauma and pain, neither of which I wanted to incite to the anonymous young woman. I now realize that my understanding of the situation was not the full picture and the last thing I want is for Olivia to ever feel abandoned or alone. We are in the midst of a very crucial and important time and it is imperative that we keep listening.
It was originally reported that Keegan-Michael Key was also one of the actors who pulled out of the group interview, leaving Munn to do the interview alone, but Key had been planning on leaving TIFF early and wasn't scheduled for those interviews. Munn responded to The Hollywood Reporter journalist Chris Gardener in a series of tweets, stating that she appreciated the private text Key sent to her, but that she felt "isolated" when the rest of the cast were the only ones to give director Shane Black a standing ovation at the TIFF premiere. Now that Holbrook and Brown have offered their support publicly to Munn, it remains to be seen if Black and the rest of the cast will do so as well.
With this controversy unfolding just days before its theatrical release, it will be interesting to see if it will have any impact on its box office when The Predator opens on September 14. Controversies like this can sometimes be disastrous for some movies, but with The Predator continuing a storied franchise, it remains to be seen if it will be affected at all. Still, with just a few days left until the theatrical release, many will be watching to see if the rest of the cast will speak out about the controversy.
- The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018