When She Found Out A Sex Offender Had Been Cast In Her Movie, Olivia Munn Spoke Up

"It's not an easy thing to be the one to speak up."

Many people have praised Olivia Munn this past week for speaking out against the casting of a registered sex offender in her new movie The Predator. Her choice to use her voice instead of staying silent shows the importance of doing the right thing — even when there are consequences.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Munn alerted Twentieth Century Fox after learning of the actor's history. The studio chose to cut his scene from the film, explaining that they were not aware of his background. Munn told Variety that Fox initially didn't return her call for two days.

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"I personally chose to help a friend," director Shane Black said in a statement about the casting. "I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly." He added his belief that the actor was "caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous."

After learning more about the case, however, Black later said that he was "misled by a friend," adding, "I believe strongly in giving people second chances, but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped." He apologized to those he "let down ... without giving them a voice in the decision."

Munn told the Times that she found it "both surprising and unsettling" that Black didn't share this information with the cast and crew, but was "relieved" that Fox took "appropriate action" by cutting the actor out of the film. However, her decision to speak out hasn't been without its difficulties.

The actress told The Hollywood Reporter at the Toronto International Film Festival that it's "not an easy thing to be the one to speak up," adding, "There are people who get very mad at you for not just helping them bury it." She shared that she has not heard from Black directly, and said it was "a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be with the rest of the cast." 

According to Vanity Fair, Munn said some of her co-stars have canceled or walked out of interviews with her. A representative for co-star Keegan-Michael Key said that he was always scheduled to depart TIFF early, and had reached out to Munn privately "to let her know how proud he was of her."

Co-star Sterling K. Brown tweeted a thread of messages to Munn over the weekend, telling her he was "sorry you've been the only one to speak up publicly," and clarifying that he was not at TIFF. He said he would leave forgiveness over the actor's crimes "to the individual," but added that "we all have the right to know who we're working with." Some have expressed disappointment that he didn't release a "stronger denouncement" of the situation.

During a group interview with the Los Angeles Times, co-star Trevante Rhodes said of the controversy, "I wasn't disappointed in Shane. I was disappointed in the situation, and I'm happy that Liv spoke up." Fellow actor Augusto Aguilera added that it took "a lot of courage" for Munn to say something.

"I don't care if it's my movie," Munn said of her decision to speak up. "I don't care if this movie was going to give me $100 million, it's not worth being quiet over that, my silence is not for sale."

Munn tweeted last week that she has is "contractually obligated" to promote the film, adding her belief that "they'd prefer I not show up." She added that "if it costs me my career they can take it."

Actress and activist Geena Davis told Variety that she thought Fox did the right thing by cutting the scene, and added that she herself has felt afraid to speak up at times in her career. "It's really gone with the territory in my life," she said. "I think about things that happened 20 or so years ago where, if it happened now, I'd be like, 'Excuse me, I'm sorry, that's not appropriate.' And I was so not that person before I felt you couldn't be, you shouldn't be."

This isn't the first time Munn has spoken out about sexual abuse. In December, she wrote an essay for Entertainment Weekly in which she called out the culture of abuse in Hollywood. "If you're already at the top or on your way there, please don't hold us back anymore," she wrote. "Instead, stand with the rest of us — because the glass ceiling that hangs over me is the same glass ceiling that will hang over your daughters, sisters, nieces."

Cover image: Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com

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