It sounds like a bad joke: A registered sex offender working on a movie called The Predator.

According to a troubling report in the Los Angeles Times, though, this actually happened. Director Shane Black cast actor Steven Wilder Striegel, who the Times describes as his “longtime friend,” in a three-page scene with star Olivia Munn. Last month, Munn discovered that Striegel is a registered sex offender. She didn’t know it at the time of filming, and neither, apparently, did 20th Century Fox; they told the Times they were “not aware of Mr. Striegel’s background when he was hired” and when Munn presented them with the information, they cut his scene from the film.

Here’s how Black defended the decision to hire Striegel (and to not inform his other actors about his past) to the Times:

‘I personally chose to help a friend,’ Black said in a written statement to The Times. ‘I can understand others might disapprove, as his conviction was on a sensitive charge and not to be taken lightly.’ But he said he has long believed that Striegel was ‘caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous.’

Striegel’s “bad situation” was pleading guilty to risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer. He served six months in jail for his crimes. Striegel described his side of this to the Times, which involved sending graphic emails to a 14-year-old “distant relative.” Munn told the Times she found it “both surprising and unsettling that Shane Black, our director, did not share this information to the cast, crew, or Fox Studios prior to, during, or after production.”

Expect a lot more about this, as the film makes it world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival tonight, ahead of its opening in theaters next weekend. In the meantime, the entire Times report is worth your time. It is shocking, as is Black’s choice to keep this information from Munn and others at Fox.

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