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- John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman over allegations of sexual harassment that have been made against him, during a film screening Q&A on Monday.
- Hoffman has been accused of sexual harassment by two women.
- Oliver repeatedly took issue with Hoffman’s November apology statement to the first allegation and pushed him to respond to it with a deeper “self-reflection.”
John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman over allegations of sexual harassment during a heated exchange at a film screening Q&A on Monday night, which The Washington Post captured on video.
The host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” was interviewing Hoffman in a panel for a commemorative screening of Hoffman’s 1997 film “Wag the Dog” in New York City.
Around halfway through the hour-long talk, Oliver brought up an allegation made against Hoffman in November that he had groped and sexually harassed a 17-year-old intern, Anna Graham Hunter, on the set of the 1985 movie “Death Of A Salesman.”
“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said to Hoffman in a video published by The Post.
“It’s hanging in the air?” Hoffman responded. “From a few things you’ve read you’ve made an incredible assumption about me.” He then added, sarcastically, “You’ve made the case better than anyone else can. I’m guilty.”
After Hunter accused Hoffman in a Hollywood Reporter column in November, Hoffman responded to the allegation with the following 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.”
(Hoffman has since been accused by a second woman, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, who said the actor sexually harassed her in a meeting in 1991.)
Oliver’s exchange with Hoffman on Monday became even more heated when the HBO host addressed Hoffman’s November apology. “You’ve made one statement in print. Does that feel like enough to you?” he asked.
“First of all, it didn’t happen the way she reported,” Hoffman said. “I still don’t know who this woman is. I never met her. If I met her, it was in concert with other people,” he added, addressing Hunter’s specific claims.
Oliver went on to take issue with the fact that Hoffman’s statement said the allegation was “not reflective of who I am.”
“It’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” Oliver said. “It is reflective of who you were. If it happened and you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t happen. Then there was a period of time for a while when you were creeping around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘Well, this isn’t me.'”
Hoffman told Oliver that he did not grope Hunter, but that his behavior in the alleged incident was simply how people on a film set spoke to each other. “It becomes a family in which I said a stupid thing but I said it in the midst of the crew, and they said their stupid things. But they were sexual in terms of the humor of it. That’s 40 years ago.”
Oliver added that Hoffman’s response to the allegation didn’t “feel self-reflective in the way that it seems the incident demands.”
“Do you believe this stuff that you’re reading?” Hoffman responded.
“I believe what she wrote, yes,” Oliver replied. “Because there’s no point in her lying.”
“Well, there is a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years,” Hoffman said.
“Oh, Dustin. Christ,” Oliver said.
Hoffman and Oliver did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.
Watch a segment of the exchange below, via The Washington Post: