Olivia Munn says she feels isolated for standing up for what's right.
On Thursday, reports broke that director Shane Black had cast longtime friend and registered sex offender Steven Wilder Striegel for a cameo in his hotly anticipated film, The Predator. Striegel spent six months in prison in 2010 after pleading guilty to sending sexually-charged emails to an underage girl. He shared a short scene with Munn, who then alerted the studio of Striegel's history and lobbied for the removal of the scene.
Fox cut the scene and issued a statement that the studio didn't know about Striegel's conviction.
"Several weeks ago, when the studio learned the details, his one scene in the film was removed within 24 hours. We were not aware of his background during the casting process due to legal limitations that impede studios from running background checks on actors," a Twentieth Century Fox Film spokesperson said.
Recently, Munn attended the Toronto International Film Festival to promote the film. Black was noticeably absent, although he had previously apologized for casting Striegel.
"I apologize to all of those, past and present, I've let down by having Steve around them without giving them a voice in the decision," he said.
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Munn said the absence of her castmates was jarring. It was presumed they backed out of scheduled interviews because Munn spoke up about Striegel. 11-year-old Jacob Tremblay was the only other star from the film who joined her.
During the interview, Munn revealed Black never reached out to her after the onslaught of reports.
"I haven’t heard from Shane," she shared. "I did see his apology that he put out. I appreciate the apology. I would have appreciated it more if it was directed toward me privately before it went public and I had to see it online with everyone else. It's honestly disheartening to have to fight for something so hard that is just so obvious to me. I don’t know why this has to be such a hard fight. I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people that I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one that put this guy on set."
She also opened up about feeling ostracized because she decided to do something about the situation.
"I try to do the right thing and that’s all I can do, and when I see something, you do something. You don’t just sit back and hope it protects your movie," she said. "There are people who get very mad at you for not just helping them bury it."
"I don’t know how to pretend, I don’t know how to skirt around the issue," she continued. "I just know how to be honest about it. It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast."
In another interview, this time with Vanity Fair, Munn said one co-star even walked out when a different set of reporters asked to discuss the deleted scene. She also shared that when the L.A. Times released its story, she encouraged others to speak out, but none obliged.
"I wanted them to not be blindsided the way I was blindsided, and I encouraged them to put out a statement once the L.A. Times reached out to us,“ Munn said. “I was surprised that none of them did. Again that’s their prerogative. Right now the reality is that there will be people who wear Time’s Up pins and say they support Time’s Up, [but] there will be people in Time’s Up who aren’t really down with the cause."
The situation made Munn rethink her career and question if the entertainment industry was worth the trouble.
"I love being an actor, but if it comes at this cost, who wants it? Who cares?" she said. "I’m so much more than who I am as an actor, and so many other things going on in my life. I love it, but they can take it if that’s what it comes down to."
It's incredibly disheartening that some people claim to be #MeToo and #TimesUp allies yet throw women under the bus when push comes to shove. Munn only did what was right. She protested the involvement of a sex offender in her film, and she shouldn't be punished for being brave.
Sadly, some people in the industry are exposing themselves as performative allies, instead of true supporters who stand alongside women. They are not allies; they are cowards. Allies show up when it counts, and they don't hide when the going gets tough. Allies don't let women feel alone. It's up to everyone to fight Hollywood's longtime protection of sexual abusers.