In what should be a celebratory day for The Predator camp, the arrival of Shane Black’s R-rated thriller has largely been overshadowed by the casting of Steven Wilder Striegel, a registered sex offender and a friend of Black’s. And that’s where the problem lies.
Just like he did on The Nice Guys and Iron Man 3, the filmmaker cast Striegel in The Predator, believing that he was helping out a friend. It wasn’t long before the truth came out, though, prompting numerous apologies from Shane Black himself – none of which have been accepted by Olivia Munn, whose scene with Steven Wilder Striegel was removed from the theatrical cut immediately after this scandal was brought to light.
And while it caused a great deal of distress for Munn, there is one silver lining to be found here – the actress’ decision to speak out has galvanized victims of sexual abuse, particularly the ‘Jane Doe’ (real-name: Paige Carnes) who was subjected to Striegel’s advances at only 14 years of age.
Via The Los Angeles Times (h/t Dread Central), she penned the following open letter:
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.
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The statement continues below, and applauds Olivia Munn for her decision to speak out on the whole ordeal.
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.
The Predator is playing everywhere as of today, September 14th, and based on Matt Donato’s review, the franchise reinvention “guts and slashes its way to gory sci-fi mediocrity, but is further failed by abysmal pacing that loses characters, subplots and interest along the way.”
Source: The LA Times