‘The Predator’ director Shane Black apologises for sex offender casting

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Los Angeles:

Director Shane Black has apologised for casting a registered sex offender in “The Predator” saying he is “deeply disappointed” in himself.

On Thursday, The Times published a report that 20th Century Fox had deleted a scene from the upcoming sci-fi thriller that featured Steven Wilder Striegel, Black’s friend of 14 years.

The studio decided to omit the scene from “The Predator” after actor Olivia Munn, one of the film’s stars, learned that in 2010, Striegel pleaded guilty to allegations that he tried to lure a 14-year-old girl into a sexual relationship online.

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Black originally defended casting Striegel, who has previously appeared in the filmmaker’s “Iron Man 3” and “The Nice Guys” saying “I personally chose to help a friend”.

But after the Times story, Black said Thursday, “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. I believe strongly in giving people second chances but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.

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“After learning more about the affidavit, transcripts, and additional details surrounding Steve Striegel’s sentence, I am deeply disappointed in myself. I apologise to all of those, past and present, I’ve let down by having Steve around them without giving them a voice in the decision.”

“The Predator” is set to be released in the US on September 14.

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