The Predator director Shane Black is taking full responsibility for his part in casting registered sex offender Steven Wilder Striegel.
Striegel was a longtime friend of Black’s, according to a report in The Los Angeles Times.
After co-star Olivia Munn, 38, discovered Striegel’s past, she successfully lobbied 20th Century Fox to cut Striegel’s Predator scene, just days before the film was released.
"I have reached out to Olivia,” Black told ET of the controversy at the film’s Hollywood premiere on Wednesday. "I felt that I owed her that call, that apology and I’m very sorry for any pain that she’s felt, but I reached out privately."
Black was visibly choked up when talking about the incident, expressing his remorse over the decision.
“If I caused pain, it’s on me. It’s my fault. I made a decision, which was a very bad — look, it’s not about the fact that I was as shocked to discover what’s going on at reading these horrible things in the paper. That’s still on me,” he continued.
“I’m the captain to the ship, and I’m not allowed to make choices for people. I’m not allowed to just treat this like we’re kids in college and putting friends in movies because this is big leagues, and I felt like I had let people down and caused pain to the cast and that is not acceptable.”
Munn spoke with ET at the premiere, acknowledging that Black had reached out.
“We actually haven’t spoken to each other,” she said. “I heard from my publicist that he had reached out, but I was traveling and I’ve been doing press.”
Black added that his role moving forward was simply to support the cast and the “fantastic job” they did on The Predator.
“I love them all. I love them all dearly,” he said. “I will continue to try to do my best to keep the movie going forward and doing well, but also I think there’s something to be learned from this experience and I have a lesson.”
Munn expressed to ET that she’s been encouraged by the response to her actions.
“I knew that my friends and family would always stand by me, and that always means a lot, but truthfully the amazing outpouring of support and shared outrage from the fans, social media, the news outlets, that has been honestly the most surprising thing,” she said. “Just to have everyone on that same page… that’s honestly been the most amazing thing just to see that.”
The Predator hits theaters Sept. 14.