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Dustin Hoffman’s Director Defends His Conduct on Set of ‘Death of a Salesman’ Amid Sexual Harassment Allegations

Dustin Hoffman, Director, Harassment
Dustin Hoffman attends The Meyerowitz Stories' UK premiere within The London Film festival in London, United Kingdom on October 06, 2017.Ray Tang/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Volker Schlöndorff, the director of Death of a Salesman, has responded to Anna Graham Hunter’s claims that Dustin Hoffman sexually harassed her on the set of the 1985 TV adaption.

Related: Stars Speak Out Against Harvey Weinstein Amid Sexual Misconduct Scandal

As previously reported, Hunter accused Hoffman of sexually harassing her when she was 17 and interned as a production assistant on the set of Death of a Salesman. Hunter alleged in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter published on Wednesday, November 1, that Hoffman made unwanted sexual advances towards her and made vulgar statements, including “I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris.” The Los Angeles-based writer also said that Hoffman requested she give him a foot massage on her first day on set, which she did.

Schlöndorff, 78, defended Hoffman in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, saying that Hunter’s account was a mischaracterization and that calling the actor a predator is “going too far.” The filmmaker also insisted Hoffman was known as a “kidder” on set and justified the request to have his feet rubbed by explaining that it wasn’t unusual because the actor was on his feet for 16 hours at a time: “Everybody gave him a foot massage now and then, on the set, amidst the chaos, nothing ambiguous about it.”

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He also says of Hoffman, “If [Dustin] knew that she would be upset when he was teasing her, he wouldn’t have done it.”

In response to the allegations, the two-time Oscar winner told The Hollywood Reporter, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

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Since Hunter’s account became public, screenwriter Wendy Riss Gatsiounis has also come forward with her own allegation of sexual misconduct against Hoffman. In a post published by Variety on Wednesday, Gatsiounis alleged that during a meeting with Hoffman in 1991, he propositioned her.


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