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Fox Cuts ‘Predator’ Scene Featuring Director Shane Black’s Friend, a Registered Sex Offender

Steven Wilder Striegel pleaded guilty in 2010 in a case involving a teenage girl

20th Century Fox has removed a short scene from Shane Black’s “The Predator” after discovering that Steven Wilder Striegel, a close friend of director Shane Black who was given a cameo, is a registered sex offender.

The three-page scene involved an exchange between characters played by Striegel and one of the film’s stars, Olivia Munn. But just prior to the film’s completion, Munn discovered that Striegel pled guilty to two felonies in 2010 — risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer — after he was accused of trying to lure a 14-year-old female into a sexual relationship online. He served six months in jail.

“Our studio was not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired,” a Fox spokesperson said in a statement. “We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors.”

Munn told The Los Angeles Times that she was troubled that Black didn’t tell her or anyone else on the film’s cast and crew about Striegel’s past, but said she was pleased that Fox moved quickly to remove the scene after she spoke with the studio.

Black, who first met Striegel in 2004, told the Times that he simply “chose to help a friend” by casting Striegel, having previously cast him in “Iron Man 3” in 2013 and “The Nice Guys” in 2016. However, he admitted to knowing about the charges, and said that he “can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.”

Striegel also spoke with the newspaper, calling the allegations “an enormously unfortunate chapter in my life, and one that I took, and continue to take, personal responsibility for.”

“If I had even an inkling that my involvement with ‘The Predator’ would be a point of difficulty for Shane Black, or cast any kind of shadow over a movie that I wish only great success for, I would, of course, never have been involved in any capacity.”

“The Predator” is set for release on Sept. 14 and is the fourth installment in the long-running “Predator” franchise. It will premiere this Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival, and is currently projected for an opening weekend in the high $20 million range.