John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman had a heated argument at a panel discussion in New York City on Monday, December 4, over the sexual harassment allegations recently made against the actor.
“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” the Last Week Tonight host, 40, said on stage at a Tribeca Film Festival screening for the 20th anniversary of Wag the Dog, via The Washington Post. Hoffman, 80, responded, “It’s hanging in the air? From a few things you’ve read, you’ve made an incredible assumption about me,” adding sarcastically, “You’ve made the case better than anyone else can. I’m guilty.”
Actress and author Anna Graham Hunter accused Hoffman of sexual harassment in a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter published on November 1. She claimed he groped her and made inappropriate comments while she worked as an intern on the set of the 1985 TV adaptation of Death of a Salesman. He responded with a statement: “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.”
On Monday, Oliver addressed the All the President’s Men actor’s apology. “You’ve made one statement in print. Does that feel like enough to you?” he asked. Hoffman replied, “First of all, it didn’t happen, the way she reported. I still don’t know who this woman is. I’ve never met her. If I met her, it was in concert with other people.”
Honing in on the language in the statement, the HBO personality said, “It is reflective of who you are, if it happened, and you’ve given no evidence to show that it didn’t happen … It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘Well, this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”
Later on, Oliver told Hoffman that he believes Hunter’s account “because there’s no point in her lying.” The actor shot back, “Well, there is a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years.” Visibly disappointed, Oliver held his hands over his face and said, “Oh, Dustin.”
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