Shane Black

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

What was the Accusation?

On September 14, 2018, director Shane Black (Iron Man 3, The Nice Guys) offered a formal apology from the red carpet premiere of his new film The Predator after details emerged that he hadn’t properly vetted one of his actors, a good friend of his named Steven Wilder Striegel. Striegel was a registered sex offender following an incident ten years earlier in which he sexually assaulted then 14-year-old Paige Carnes.  Although Striegel recently claimed in emails to the press that he was merely trying to boost the self-esteem of a girl who was his distant relative, the 2009 arrest warrant affidavit alleges that physical contact included kissing, touching [Carne’s] breast over her clothing, rubbing her legs and stroking her neck on several occasions.  When one of the stars of the Predator, Olivia Munn, discovered that a member of the cast (even though in a small role) was a sex offender, she reported the information to 20th Century Fox . After a few days, the studio opted to cut the scene from the film.  Munn was celebrated on social media for her decision to stand up for what she felt was morally right and Carnes thanked Munn personally in a heartfelt note for giving her the courage to “reclaim her identity.”  However, Munn claims that she felt shunned by her fellow cast members and left out of group interviews at major promotional events.  On the red carpet, Black apologized for his role in the scandal arguing that he was “captain of the ship” and acknowledged the pain he caused.  He also indicated he was upset that his “error in judgment” was hanging over the film when the focus of the premiere should be exclusively on the movie itself.

Key Apologia Strategies:

Good Intentions, Shifting Blame, Mortification, Corrective Action



Initial statement to the Los Angeles Times:

I personally chose to help a friend. I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.

Statement after negative reaction to Los Angeles Times report:

Having read this morning’s news reports, 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, he said. I believe strongly in giving people second chances ” but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.

After learning more about the affidavit, transcripts and additional details surrounding Steve Striegel’s sentence, I am deeply disappointed in myself. 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.

Red carpet premiere statement:

I made an error in judgement that is irresponsible.  You know.  I’m not just a kid who can say ‘you know we’re making movies in college. You put your buddy in the movie. This is an adult decision with real responsibilities and I didn’t vet somebody. And it doesn’t matter that I was shocked at these emails or that he misrepresented. My friends and I oh my God. It doesn’t matter.  I was the captain of that ship. It’s my job to make sure those things don’t happen, you see, and I failed. And I may have caused…I did cause pain to people in the cast. That’s unacceptable.  I take full responsibility. I’m very deeply sorry.  I mean I think about this a lot. I hope I learn from this because it really bothers me that this movie which could have been these beautiful people and a beautiful night with only this has been overshadowed in some ways by a stupid decision that I made. I’m very sorry to anybody.


Hipes, P. (2018, September 13). Shane Black adds to apology over casting sex offender in ˜The Predator’. Deadline. Retrieved from:

Mandell, A. (2018, September 13). Victim thanks Olivia Munn after ‘Predator’ scandal: ‘She spoke up for me’. USA Today. Retrieved from:

Nickolai, N. (2018, September 13). Shane Black apologizes again for ‘stupid decision’ to hire sex offender for ‘The Predator’. Variety. Retrieved from: