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Olivia Munn's ostracization by castmates reveals why 'hysterical' women are still afraid to speak out in the age of #MeToo

The actress hadn’t been informed she was sharing a scene with a registered sex offender so she asked for it to be cut.

WE ALL KNOW a ‘hysterical’ woman.

Olivia Munn Source: Javier Rojas/Pi

She’s the one emasculating you at work, causing unnecessary trouble and not being able to ‘take a joke’. She’s rocking the boat and is probably emotionally fragile.

Why can’t she just be rational? Or at least be silent?

I mean, this is the best women have ever had it, so why is she not grateful?

Ireland abortion laws Source: PA Archive/PA Images

‘Hysterical’ derives from the word hysteria, which is Greek in origin and means ‘wandering womb’. The Greeks believed that the uterus was able to float around your body, causing women to be raving mad. What these women were often suffering from was normal conditions such as post-partum depression.

sexism Source: Emzey

In the western world, as surgeons realised that the uterus was stuck fast, ‘hysteria’ became a medical diagnosis for women

The cure for their ‘tendency to cause trouble’ was forcing them into insane asylums or forced hysterectomies.  

hysteria-600x383 Source: Hysteria

This week, actress Olivia Munn has been on the receiving end of how those in power in the 21st century deal with ‘hysterical’ women. 

MTV Movie And TV Awards 2018 - Arrivals - Los Angeles Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

After revealing to 20th Century Fox that an actor she shared a scene with in her new movie, The Predator, was a registered sex offender, Olivia was shunned by the film’s director and her castmates.

The silent treatment, the undermining and the ostricization of Olivia is why women are still afraid to speak out when they see injustice.  

Arrest of Al-Jazeera journalist Mansur Source: DPA/PA Images

Online, some dismissed Olivia: 

tattletale Source: Twitter/valleyJim

Some said that Olivia is destroying a man’s career:

double jeopardy Source: Twitter/WWEcreativeexec

Even the Washington Post went with the angle that Olivia was a snitch for ‘outing’ him:

DrB_OnMedia Source: TWitter/DrB_OnMedia

Let’s investigate a little bit deeper than the headlines and tweets.

So the actor in question, Steven Wilder Striegel, was jailed for six months in 2010 after pleading guilty to ‘risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer’.

At the time Steven was a 40-year-old man, and the child in question was a 14-year-old girl. 

National Geographic's Genius Premiere - Los Angeles Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

In mid-August, Olivia informed Fox that she had discovered that Steven was a registered sex offender. Olivia revealed to Variety

When I called, (Fox) was silent for two days. I did have to reach out again and say I didn’t feel comfortable presenting at the MTV Awards…unless this guy (Steven) was out of it.”

Olivia – being a woman and needing to justify her own personal frustrations at the delay in hearing back from the studio – acknowledges that Fox might have already been working on removing the scene.

I just didn’t hear anything about it…I wouldn’t be able to morally stand behind this movie with this guy in there.

The scene was cut. 

However, this was only the beginning of trouble for Olivia.

The Predator Photocall - Madrid Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

The studio and everyone involved in the film could have used this incident as an opportunity to improve their standards. Sexual crimes against children and adults should be taken seriously so the studio should have systems in place to inform actors of the criminal backgrounds of those they are working with so that they can make an informed moral choice.

Olivia called up her castmates to tell them that Steven was a registered sex offender and that she’d spoken to The LA Times about the incident. She encouraged her co-stars to also give statements to the Times.

predator

None took her up on the offer. 

Shane Black, the director of the film, who has been friends with Steven for 14 years, gave a written statement to The 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. 

The Predator Photocall - Madrid Source: Jack Abuin

Olivia says that Shane has not spoken to her since the scene was cut. 

Shane added to The Times that he has long believed that Steven was:

…caught up in a bad situation versus something lecherous.

Emm…can that be explained in more detail?

Let’s turn to Steven to shed some light on what a ‘bad situation’ versus ‘lecherous’ could mean in light of pleading guilty to ‘risk of injury to a child and enticing a minor by computer’.

bold

According to Steven, the 14-year-old child was a distant relative of his…

giphy Source: giphy

…who was going through a tough time, and he was merely trying to help her self-esteem.

Steven says he:

 made the very bad judgement call of telling her in these emails that she was attractive, and sexy, and not a failure, etc

What does the ‘etc’ stand for?

The March 2009 arrest warrant affidavit, which identifies the child as ‘Jane Doe’ says that:

In one email message, Striegel told the girl that there was no one in the world he would rather have sex with. “I will be VERY honest: There’s no question that it’s you. None. Hope that doesn’t totally freak you out, and just because it’s what I want, and what you want, doesn’t mean it’s the right thing.”

lecherous

Among other email interactions with her, Steven describes in graphic detail what his sexual preferences are, including his preferred intercourse position and intimate grooming practices. 

EVERY thing you say turns me on!! I love that it rocked you when I pulled your hair that time.

So that is what ‘etc’ means.

After the ‘etc’ had been explained in the media, director Shane released another statement to say that his friend Steven had ‘misled’ him:

I believe strongly in giving people second chances – but sometimes you discover that chance is not as warranted as you may have hoped.

The Predator Photocall - Madrid Source: Jack Abuin

(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.

Olivia said that she has not received a personal apology from Shane yet, and that the only castmate who has been supportive of her is 11-year-old actor Jacob Tremblay. Other castmates have cancelled scheduled interviews with her.

olivia Source: Twitter/oliviamunn

Of the experience, Olivia said to The Hollywood Reporter:

It’s honestly disheartening to have to fight for something so hard that is just so obvious to me. I don’t know why this has to be such a hard fight. I do feel like I’ve been treated by some people that I’m the one who went to jail or I’m the one that put this guy on set. I found out, and I was really important to me to have the scene deleted.
It’s a very lonely feeling to be sitting here by myself when I should be sitting here with the rest of the cast.

The Us actress expressed her frustration on Twitter also:

olll Source: Twitter/OliviaMunn

Yesterday, Sterling K Brown, a co-star of Olivia’s, released a statement via Twitter.

…What I take issue with, (& I believe Shane addressed this in his apology), is that we all have the right to know who we’re working with! And when someone has been convicted of a crime of a sexual nature involving a child, we have the right to say that’s not okay!

sterling Source: Pa Images

Our studio was not given that opportunity, and neither was our cast. Especially @oliviamunn who was the only member of the principal cast who had to work with him. I so appreciate that you “didn’t leave well enough alone,” & again, I’m sorry you (Olivia) feel isolated in taking action.

Olivia released her own statement on Twitter, encouraging people to not stay silent in order to make others feel comfortable.

olivia munn Source: Twitter/oliviamunn

But with the treatment Olivia has gotten, would you be bothered to use your voice?

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