March 19, 2018

John Oliver Grills Dustin Hoffman On Sexual Misconduct Allegations

07 December 2017, 02:54 | Ross Houston

John Oliver Challenges Dustin Hoffman About Sexual Harassment Claims In Eye-Watering Public Interview

'You weren't there!': John Oliver has 'uncomfortable' argument with Dustin Hoffman during panel for 20th anniversary of Wag the Dog

A 20th-anniversary event for Barry Levinson's Wag the Dog on Manhattan's Upper East Side turned contentious Monday night when host and moderator John Oliver confronted star Dustin Hoffman about the sexual harassment claims that have been made against the 80-year-old actor in recent months. Hoffman previously apologized in a statement to Hunter, saying he was sorry for "anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation".

"It's not reflective of who I am"-it's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off".

More testy exchanges followed, and Rosenthal, the only female member of the panel, wasn't able to defuse the situation by agreeing with one of Hoffman's arguments - that the norms around how men treated women in the workplace 30 years ago was different and perhaps less evolved than it is now. One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time, ' she said.

The Washington Post's Steven Zeitchik tweeted that Hoffman criticized Oliver for "unquestionably believing accusers" and not keeping an "open mind".

When the former film-production intern heard that TV personality John Oliver had grilled Dustin Hoffman about sexual harassment on a NY stage Monday night, she had a distinct reaction.

Anna Graham Hunter claimed Hoffman had harassed her when she worked as a production intern on the 1985 movie.

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"I don't love that answer either", Oliver said, to which Hoffman replied, "What response do you want?" and Oliver, explained, "It doesn't feel self-reflective in the way it seems the incident demands".

"You've made a very quick judgement", said Hoffman. "But you and I are not the victims here". At the time, Hunter was 17 years old.

Charles Durning and Dustin Hoffman in 'Tootsie'.

Requests for further comment from Hoffman's and Oliver's reps were not immediately returned to ABC News. We have a platform here. Not only was the venue totally inappropriate for such an off-topic ambush, but Oliver was also very wrong to automatically presume Hoffman to be guilty of being a sexual abuser/harasser based exclusively on what is now in the public record. He also continued to cast aspersions on Hunter, asking Oliver why he was so quick to believe her. "How are we moving forward?" I mean the, the, the intention to say [unclear]... It was the most strident confrontation by a late night talk show host, several of whom, including Jimmy Fallon, have been accused of staying away from wading into the issues of sexual misconduct in Hollywood brought on by a wave of accusations against powerful men.

The actor also discussed a story that recently resurfaced regarding a screen test for The Graduate, in which he allegedly touched co-star Katharine Ross, describing reports of the incident as "skewed".

Comedian John Oliver confronted Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman on stage about a sexual harassment accusation, offering an audience in NY on Monday a rare glimpse of a powerful man facing live questions about such an allegation.

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