Twentieth Century Fox cut a scene from Shane Black's The Predator that featured registered sex offender Steven Wilder Striegel, and now the survivor has issued a statement, thanking Olivia Munn for speaking out and bringing the scene to the studio's attention. Last week, it was reported that Fox cut a scene from The Predator after finding out the actor featured in it, Striegel, is a registered sex offender. Munn was the one who brought the actor's criminal history to the studio's attention and insisted the scene be cut. When the story broke, Fox issued a statement saying the studio didn't know about Striegel's past due to limitations in terms of conducting background checks. However, Black, a friend of Striegel, was aware of the actor's arrest and subsequent jail time when he cast the actor in a small role in The Predator.
Striegel plead guilty in 2010 to two felonies revolving around his relationship with a 14-year-old Jane Doe, whose identity was kept from the public because she was underage at the time. After pleading guilty to risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer, Striegel served six months in prison and became a registered sex offender. His history, Fox cutting his scene from The Predator and Munn shouldering the burden of speaking out about the situation has been one of the major stories surrounding the release of the studio's movie. Now, with The Predator set to hit theaters tomorrow, the Jane Doe at the center of Striegel's case has come forward to issue a statement of her own.
In a statement to The LA Times - the publication that initially broke the story of the cut scene - the survivor, Paige Carnes (whose identity was verified by The Times), now 24, came forward to thank Munn for speaking out about the scene and offer insight into her experience. Read the statement in full below.
My purpose in making this statement is to reclaim my identity.
Sexual abuse makes people uncomfortable. It should make you uncomfortable. This discomfort is nothing compared to the psychological and physical suffering of those who have dealt with it.
I was not able to speak for myself when I was 14. The consequences of this abuse are profound and permanent for some. When the abuse takes place with a child, it is even harder to overcome. You lose trust in everyone around you, and mainly yourself. Your abuse does not define you. With support from others and strength from within, you can overcome the label of victim and reclaim your identity.
Support can come in many forms. Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up for you, acknowledging your worth as a human being. I am extremely fortunate to have a Father and Mother that love me unconditionally. My Father has supported me in my healing and growth in ways I cannot thank him enough for.
I am also eternally grateful for Olivia Munn’s action. She spoke up for me. She took a stance for me. In turn she stood for all who have suffered like I have. To be acknowledged by a stranger, on a public platform about this issue is incredibly empowering. The positive feedback from social media towards Olivia Munn is uplifting and feels incredibly supportive for me personally.
I have no shame for what was done to me. I am not the one who needs to carry that shame. My name is Paige Carnes, former Jane Doe.
I hope anyone who has suffered like I have regains their voice and their humanity.
Though none of Munn's The Predator co-stars offered statements to The Times for the initial report about the scene, many have since come forward about the subject. At The Predator premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival, Jake Busey agreed with Fox's decision to cut the scene. Further, both Sterling K. Brown and Boyd Holbrook have issued statements that they also support Fox, as well as Munn for coming forward about the scene. As for Black, he issued an apology for casting Striegel in the movie after The Times' story ran, indicating he didn't know the details of Striegel's crimes until they were published by the paper.
Much of the news cycle in the week and a half leading up to The Predator's wide release has focused on the cut scene and Munn's comments about it. Coming out of TIFF, early reviews for The Predator were mixed, and while it's set to win its opening weekend, it's possible Striegel's cut scene may overshadow the rest of the movie. Of course, some would argue that should be the case, especially in the past year with the rise of the #MeToo movement and the formation of Time's Up. Certainly, now that Carnes has come forward and offered her own statement, thanking Munn for her part in taking a stand against the scene, it's easy to see how important it is to survivors that those in Hollywood make sure time really is up for sexual predators.
Source: LA Times
- The Predator (2018) release date: Sep 14, 2018