Saturday, 21 July, 2018

John Oliver grills Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations

Dustin Hoffman presents the Hollywood comedy award at the Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton hotel on Sunday Nov. 5 2017 in Beverly Hills Calif John Oliver grills Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations
Stacy Diaz | 05 December, 2017, 15:28

The Last Week Tonight host grilled Hoffman during a tense exchange at a 20th anniversary screening of his film Wag The Dog in NY, with Oliver saying that he thought the Oscar-winning actor's apology over harassment claims felt like a "dismissal", The Washington Post has reported.

Around the table was Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson.

As per The Washington Post scribe Steve Zeitchik, Hoffman "grew visibly uncomfortable" as Oliver confronted him, which was followed by a back-and-forth between the two.

Hoffman defended himself against the questioning, stating that he does not recall meeting Graham Hunter, had not groped anyone, and that any comments he may have made were part of the "family" dynamic on the set. 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. "I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried", she wrote.

"You've made one statement in print", Oliver said, criticising Hoffman's response to the allegation.

"It's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off", John said.

Oliver replied that his biggest concern was the way Hoffman replied at the time when the accusation was first made public, saying that "it isn't reflective of who I am".

In response to the allegations, Hoffman issued an apology, saying "I have the utmost respect for women and feel bad that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation", which he mentioned onstage with Oliver.

"You've put me on display here", Hoffman told Oliver during the 45-minute Q&A, according to Deadline. Last month, in an article written for The Hollywood Reporter, Hunter opened up about the episode, along with the notes she took as a teenager detailing what transpired on the sets in the fives weeks she was there.

Hoffman made the remarks during a panel discussion in NY to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his film "Wag the Dog". He then stated that he only offered the apology on his representatives' advice, and was ultimately misconstrued, saying it wasn't reflective of who he is. It is reflective of who you were. "I still don't know who this woman is", Hoffman said.

Referencing reports in THR and Variety, Hoffman said: "Do you believe this stuff you're reading?" "Because what can seem completely fine or normal to a certain group of people can have victims at the other end of it" Oliver said. "The easy way is not to bring anything up".

Hoffman is just one in a worrying number of high-profile men who have been accused of sexual harassment, assault and rape within the entertainment industry. That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, "Why the fuck didn't I say something?" "How could I have made that movie if I didn't have incredible respect for women?" he asked.