Preda­tor ‘fam­ily’ fi­nally ral­lies around ac­tress

Whis­tle-blow­ing Munn thanks on­line com­mu­nity for its sup­port

Calgary Herald - - YOU - MIKE CIDONI LEN­NOX

LOS AN­GE­LES De­spite know­ing she could face back­lash, Olivia Munn nonethe­less blew the whis­tle on a fel­low ac­tor af­ter she learned he was a reg­is­tered sex of­fender.

Her ac­tions — and the re­ac­tions of her co-stars and di­rec­tor, Shane Black — as well as the feel­ings of crit­ics and fans on so­cial me­dia have nearly over­shad­owed the lat­est in the Preda­tor fran­chise.

Much was rid­ing on the film, from one of Hol­ly­wood’s biggest stu­dios, as well as pro­duc­ers who had shelled out an event-movie sized bud­get. Even its world pre­mière was a big­ger-than-usual deal, set for the lofty Toronto In­ter­na­tional Film Fes­ti­val. None of that stopped Munn.

“Hon­estly, there was never a ques­tion in my mind whether I should be speak­ing out and speak­ing up,” she said this week at a screen­ing of the film in Hol­ly­wood.

Af­ter she in­ter­vened, dis­trib­u­tor 20th Cen­tury Fox had the sex of­fender’s sin­gle scene in the film, which hap­pened to be with Munn, re­moved.

Plans for the film’s re­lease forged ahead un­til just hours be­fore the Toronto pre­miere last Fri­day, when The Los An­ge­les Times broke the news of all that had gone down with Black, Munn and the stu­dio. The of­fender was an old friend of Black’s who had been cast in sev­eral of his movies.

Then came what Munn con­sid­ered a frosty re­cep­tion from her fel­low ac­tors. Dur­ing in­ter­views in Toronto on Satur­day, Munn de­scribed feel­ing lonely and iso­lated in the wake of the re­port.

She was taken aback by a pre­screen­ing stand­ing ova­tion for Black by some co-stars she knew were aware of the di­rec­tor’s cast­ing de­ci­sions. Munn said they were the same col­leagues who never both­ered to reach out af­ter learn­ing she had spo­ken up. Also, some of her cast­mates’ state­ments seemed to dis­miss the controversy or didn’t al­ways have her back. But on­line, Munn was praised and she made her case on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

In Toronto, Black re­port­edly skipped the pre­miere’s ar­rivals line and left the theatre be­fore the film’s clos­ing cred­its. But Wed­nes­day, he was in­cred­i­bly con­trite.

“I made an er­ror in judg­ment that is ir­re­spon­si­ble,” he said. “You know, I’m not just a kid who can say, ‘You know, we’re mak­ing movies in col­lege. Put your buddy in the movie.’ This is an adult de­ci­sion with real re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. And I didn’t vet some­body. I take full re­spon­si­bil­ity. I’m very deeply sorry. I mean, I think about this a lot. I hope I learned from this, be­cause it re­ally both­ers me that this movie, which could have been these beau­ti­ful peo­ple on 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.”

On the ar­rivals line at the screen­ing Wed­nes­day, most of the ac­tors from The Preda­tor were singing Munn’s praises. Munn cred­ited sup­port from out­side her Preda­tor fam­ily for the change.

“You know, hon­estly, the peo­ple on­line and the news out­lets and the blogs and the so­cial me­dia: Thank God that they ex­ist, and they are ex­press­ing all of the thoughts they’ve been ex­press­ing and sup­port,” she said. “With­out the sup­port from on­line, I would have just still been one voice.”

THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Ac­tress Olivia Munn made head­lines this week when she outed an ac­tor who was a reg­is­tered sex of­fender.

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