Sunday, 17 December, 2017

John Oliver confronts Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment in testy exchange

Oliver confronted Hoffman about allegations of sexual harassment during a 20th-anniversary screening panel for the film Women Are Applauding John Oliver After He Asked Dustin Hoffman Some Questions At A Panel Event
Theodore Harris | 08 December, 2017, 01:32

Last Week Tonight host John Oliver recently took advantage of an opportunity to grill iconic actor Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations against him that recently surfaced. The two were part of a program celebrating the anniversary of the film Wag the Dog in NY. Oliver lamented this additional questioning of victims' motives, putting his head in his hands and saying, "Oh, Dustin".

The discussion turned testy when moderator Oliver brought up ongoing conversations about sexual harassment in the film industry.

- An accuser, spurred by the current hysteria, simply misremembers what really happened all those years ago, which would explain why nearly all of the current accusations being made are very old. Oliver would not let Hoffman's response go, nor what he said at the time in his apology.

Hoffman fired back, "You weren't there". Hoffman maintained that he did nothing wrong.

Anna Graham Hunter has alleged that Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate comments when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of the 1985 TV movie Death of a Salesman. "Does that feel like enough to you?"

"Yes, because there's no point in her lying", Oliver replied.

Hoffman said "it didn't happen the way she reported it".

The back-and-forth mainly centered on the Graham Hunter allegations, and also at times invoked an accusation by "The Graduate" co-star Katharine Ross that Hoffman had groped her on the set of the classic film.

The part of that interchange which bothered me the most was Oliver, a guy who can usually smell bullcrap from miles away, is oblivious (or at least pretending to be) to the multitude of possible reasons why an accuser might tell a story which was misleading or inaccurate, especially in this current environment.

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"This is something we're going to have to talk about because ... it's hanging in the air", Oliver reportedly said at the Q&A, before asking the actor whether he felt that the single statement he had made was sufficient. If you've given no evidence to show it didn't [happen, ] there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women.

Hoffman complained: "You've put me on display here".

"Dustin's ABSOLUTELY vulnerable to misinterpretation", says this person, whom Hoffman once asked in 2000 to stay with him so that he would not be alone in a room with a female he was interviewing for a part.

"I'll watch it", Oliver replied.

"Do you believe this stuff you read?" "That's not innocent until proven guilty".

Dustin Hoffman attends the 20th Anniversary screening of "Wag The Dog" at 92nd Street Y, December 4, 2017, in New York City.

In addition to Oliver and Hoffman, Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson were also onstage.

Oliver cast the actor's conditional apology, made in early November, as dismissive, while Hoffman explained that his behavior had simply been how cast and crew try to "break up the tension of shooting for 16 hours a day".

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