Olivia Munn: ‘If it costs one person’s life I don’t want this career’

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At the LA premiere of The Predator last night, Olivia Munn was in a Laura Basci silver metallic long sleeve dress with a deep v neck, open back and high leg slit. It had a silver brooch at the waistline where the dress gathered, which added a nice touch. It’s a little too formal for a premiere, but she looks amazing. Olivia has been consistently brave in speaking out against a convicted sex predator’s appearance in the film, getting it cut ahead of the release, and continuing to be open to the press about the fallout she’s received from the studio and her costars. She’s received support from the public and online, but the studio was not happy that she made the story public, and it took some time before any of her male costars, whom she informed privately before the story came out, reached out to her. She’s described how they initially shunned her and did not respond to her attempts to contact them.

Olivia Munn was on Ellen a couple of days ago and I’m sorry for only seeing it now. Olivia explained how she found out about the fact that her costar was a sex offender, how the studio admonished her when she told the press, and how none of her costars initially supported her. They didn’t even talk to her about it when she saw them at the Toronto Film Festival and all of them except 11 year-old Jacob Tremblay bailed on schedule press duties hours before they were supposed to. She also explained her reasoning for reaching out to them privately, she assumed this news would get out and that she didn’t want anyone to find out through the press first. You can see her interview here, she’s impressive, and here are some highlights:

Munn, 38, recounted how an acquaintance had told her after the fact that Black had cast longtime friend Steven Wilder Striegel, a convicted sex offender, to play a character who hits on her in the movie.

“He was a 38-year-old man at the time and went after a 14-year-old female relative,” she told DeGeneres. (Striegel pleaded guilty in 2010 and served six months in prison, after which he was legally required to register as a sex offender.)

“When I found out, I did call Fox and I said, ‘We have to delete the scene.’ And they did, thankfully.”

While Munn didn’t know her source terribly well, she said, “I figured, in that moment, they weren’t calling to give me the heads-up. It was going to be something that would get out there. So I wanted to give my co-stars a heads-up so they wouldn’t be blindsided like I was.”

The day after she called her castmates, she got “chastised” for doing so by studio personnel, who wanted to know why she wasn’t “just keeping it quiet.” After all, they told her, “it got deleted. What’s the big deal?”

Munn explained why she wasn’t content to leave things there.

“When we do movies, we have this reach. It goes everywhere. There are people all over the world that see what we do,” she said. “And just that tiny drop of fame can be used to hurt an impressionable person. And that’s just not OK.”

As for her co-stars’ initial lack of support, Munn initially suspected it was because “they didn’t know what to say and wanted to stay out of the way. But privately, I did feel iced out. And I think what’s really important for people to understand is that when you see something, you have to say something. However, it’s not going to be easy. And there will be people who just get mad at you for not playing the game.”

She noted that co-star Sterling Brown did eventually tweet his support but added, “I think people expected me to be quiet because it was my movie. But the truth is, I don’t care if this movie gave me all the money in the world and all the power. If it cost one person’s life, they can take it. I don’t want this career.”

[From USA Today]

I appreciate how she reasoned that having this abuser in a film gives him more leverage to find another victim. That’s chilling and well put. As mentioned in the excerpt, Sterling K. Brown did reach out to Olivia on Twitter after she revealed that no one spoke to her about it. Sterling’s tweets have been criticized as condescending and he makes the “both sides” argument, but some find it supportive. Another costar, Boyd Holbrook, has since issued a thoughtful statement. He stated that he is proud of Olivia, doesn’t take this lightly, wasn’t initially aware of the case and wasn’t sure what to say at first.

Meanwhile ET spoke to Olivia at the premiere. Things have changed somewhat since she’s been so open about this. She said “The support from my co-stars has been amazing, and it’s been really special for me to receive that. So I’m just really happy that were in a time in the world where people are listening.” The amount of work she had to do to get that support was outrageous.

Director Shane Black, the one who hired the sex offender because he thought he was giving his good buddy another chance, told ET that he’s personally contacted Olivia. “I have reached out to Olivia. I felt that I owed her that call, that apology, and I’m very sorry for any pain that she’s felt. If I caused her pain, it’s on me, it’s my fault. I made a decision which was very bad… [and] it’s very important to me that she receive a proper apology.” It was so important to him that he made the apology to her after he issued a statement about it and after Olivia gave multiple interviews stating that he hadn’t contacted her.

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22 Responses to “Olivia Munn: ‘If it costs one person’s life I don’t want this career’”

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  1. Librakitty says:

    I applaud her. What an incredibly brave thing to do in what can only be described at times as a “men’s club”. Hopefully there is no repercussion to her speaking out, as in loss of roles and being frozen out.

    • Jan90067 says:

      Incredibly brave. I can’t voice enough my disappointment in Sterling K. Brown though. I thought he was a real “stand-up” guy. Guess I’m confusing him with “Randall”. Pretty sh!tty of all the cast and that lame director to back away until pressure *made* them react. Guess I’ll NEVER understand how ANYONE can give a child predator a pass, EVER. This is just a non-negotiable in my book.

      Brava, Olivia! You have my support forever for standing up!

  2. Frida_K says:

    Good for her. It’s challenging to speak up and overturn the apple cart but either it is overturned or the apple cart keeps rolling over victims.

    I have a situation now with a predator in a large organization. I spoke up and was “reassured” that I do not have to do committee work with this person. I sat back for about three weeks, not quite sure how to deal with it. Is it my responsibility to speak up? Maybe I’m tired of this. Maybe I want to just do my work and not be involved. Maybe. So I thought for a few weeks. And today I am sending a note to the person in charge and asking for an appointment. I am going to find out if the predator is still with the organization. If so, I won’t be. They won’t like that much because I have a lot to contribute and can do a lot for them in certain ways.

    I’m just one person without much power or leverage. The most I can do with the amount of power I have is refuse to be a part of this large national organization. But if I do nothing and say, “Well, it’s all ok because I won’t have to speak with the predator when we’re on committees” and think that’s enough, then I am no better than anyone who turned a blind eye.

    Each one of us has an obligation to do what we can, even if it’s only a small thing like saying: “Sorry, powerful organization…you’ll be disturbed for an hour while we’re talking about why I cannot work with you and forget about me five minutes after I’m gone because I’m a small fish, but at least I spoke up and I know that I’m a small fish with integrity.” If enough of the little fish do this, and the bigger fish do more, and the biggest go full shark, then maybe we can all change the dynamic, bit by bit.

    It’s exhausting being the one to do the right thing but… if not now, when?

    • lanne says:

      Thank you for your bravery and your willingness to stand up for what is right! It would be easy, and even understandable, in your position to turn a blind eye. After all, you likely need your job! But just like you said–if all of the small fishes stand up and act, then change is possible! If no one stands up, then everything remains status quo. A broken dam begins with a tiny crack, right?

  3. My3cents says:

    Good for her, very brave of her.
    Her costars reek of Damage control , too little too late guys.

  4. Gaiyle Griffith says:

    do these people who stand up for others gotta make it about themselves????
    i just see this as her looking outwards for pats on the back

    why not publish a story about what the actual victim has to say about these proceedings instead?

    • lucy2 says:

      By the actual victim, do you mean the minor child who was sexually harassed by a relative? Perhaps she does not want to be public?

      This IS about Olivia. She was forced to work with a convicted sex offended and was kept in the dark about it. How is that not about her also?

    • Juls says:

      The victim was a 14 year old at the time of the abuse, and a family member of the perpetrator. You are not “owed” her side of the story. Maybe she wants to maintain her privacy and move on with life without having the darkest days of her life made available for voyeurs that want the dirty details? And saying that Ms. Munn is making this about herself is minimizing the issue at hand. She has been eloquent and honest about this situation. Making her out to be a person that is hungry for attention is a move straight out of Trump’s playbook. The real question is, why do you want to silence the people that are brave enough to speak up?

    • Killjoy says:

      I think I’m misunderstanding you here – you aren’t suggesting the victim is responsible for following this man’s career and personal movements, continually identifying herself as his victim, and reaching out to studios and the like to repeatedly thwart his ambitions? That seems like expecting a lot from a woman who was victimized as a child, and probably had to be involved in some way in the trial that led to his 6-month imprisonment…

    • perplexed says:

      I think Olivia Munn was asked about it and answered the questions.

      If all of the actors except for the 11 year old bailed on press duties hours before they were supposed to, that probably set off alarm bells for the reporters who questioned what was happening.

      Also, she’s basically saying we should all speak out regardless of how uncomfortable it might feel in the initial stages when people are freezing you out which sounds like good advice to share.

      As others have noted, I doubt the victim necessarily wants to speak about her trauma with the public.

    • Wow says:

      I agree, and also dont know why everyone expects every actor to have an opinion about their co workers. No one has to take a side or support her in this. She felt strongly about it, maybe they didnt. That’s allowed.

      • Jan90067 says:

        Nope! Nope! Nope! Child molestation is something EVERYONE should “feel strongly about”, and do EVERYTHING in their power to thwart it and its predators! ALWAYS!!

        The only thing evil needs to thrive is good people doing nothing to stop it (paraphrasing the quote here).

  5. Pandy says:

    She’s absolutely right that the perv would have used his movie contacts to victimize someone else …

  6. Renee2 says:

    I absolutely think that she did the right thing, and I admire her for reaching out and telling fox to delete the scene. I don’t think of her as someone with a lot of power so it is commendable that she did this.

    I do find her comment that if the field even hurts one person that she doesn’t want it it to be a bit disconnected. The movie industry hurts a ton of people, from stunt people getting injured, maimed, and yes, losing their lives to people being told that they are too fat, too old, too not-white, to women being violently assaulted. Her face has been altered permanently from “eating a lot of Japanese potatoes” is likely a result of all of the insidous messaging that she received from agents in her field. The film industry causes a lot of harm to people in and outside of it. In that way it is extremely toxic.

  7. lucy2 says:

    “I felt that I owed her that call, that apology” Yeah, because she publicly called him out for not doing so. I think knowingly hiring a convicted sex offender and keeping it quiet tells us all we need to know about him anyway, so whatever he says to try to fix that is useless.

    Olivia did a really good and brave thing here, and I applaud her courage and persistence.

  8. Molly says:

    God, these men are such trash.

  9. perplexed says:

    This movie is called The Predator and the director hired a predator. Weird.

  10. Agenbiter says:

    Yay for Olivia – she has really found her stride.

  11. Jun4s says:

    Sorry, I meant this as a separate comment but it somehow got under yours.

  12. Mel says:

    I absolutely applaud her and I speak as someone who cannot even tell her face was different before (I’ve read about the potatoes thing but my point is that I never really cared about her).
    I really don’t get the vibe that she was trying to get publicity from this because I’ve watched several of her interviews during this press tour and her voice was often shaky and you could tell she was on the verge of tears.
    I did get the impression of loneliness from her.
    I pains me to say this but I did find Sterling’s tweet incredibly condescending indeed and I was thoroughly disappointed in him.
    Nobody is saying they HAVE TO speak out, but this goes further than that. They CANCELLED the press they were scheduled to do with her and left her hung out to dry!
    Oh, so they were uncomfortable? Cry me a f….ng river!
    Once again, a woman has to do the dirty work AND she gets blamed for this.

  13. K.T says:

    Olivia Munn gets such a hard time for her face & her history but it’s only now after I heard about the Predator ‘predator’ story that I read a series of tweets and can understand about how she’s had one of the roughest, most scathing criticism…her whole career!!
    I mean, from the start gamers objectified and yet trolled her about being on gamer/nerdculture show hosting panels, then she got hacked badly, that horrible thing with Brett Ratmer harassing her, then sports nerds hating on her and used the hack to troll her ex-boyfriend spots player.

    I mean, true respect to Olivia Munn – what a survivor – who knew?! The amount of scrutiny she’s had and now this whole Predator situation where she basically was iced out for doing the right thing. Sterling & Peele, you are the two names I am really disappointed in and expected far more.

  14. Jay says:

    I think the funniest thing about the studio icing her is that she saved them from the tidal wave of backlash the scene would have received when the truth would have eventually come out. Because it would have come out sooner or later. I can practically see the buzzfeed article now.