John Oliver Digs Into Dustin Hoffman Over Sexual Harassment Allegations During Panel

07 December, 2017, 02:54 | Author: Becky Perry
  • John Oliver Digs Into Dustin Hoffman Over Sexual Harassment Allegations During Panel

Famed actor Dustin Hoffman and TV host John Oliver got into a heated debate Monday night in NY while discussing allegations of harassment against Hoffman.

Oliver took umbrage with Hoffman's statement that his behavior on set was "not reflective" of who he really is. In a statement at the time, the actor said "I have the utmost respect for women and feel awful that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation".

Oliver said that the last part of Hoffman's apology "pisses me off" and deemed it a "dismissal".

"Well, there's a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years", Hoffman replied, to sighs and groans from Oliver and the audience. "I'm guilty." Hoffman claimed that he still doesn't know "who this woman is", and if he ever met her it was "in concert" with others.

"You've made one statement in print", Oliver asked Hoffman.

Streep's story echoes Hoffman's own account of "very gently" pinching the rear of his "Graduate" co-star Katharine Ross as a way to loosen her up during their first screen test, Slate said. "From a few things you've read you've made an incredible assumption about me".

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"You also have the way men and women worked together [in the past]; you are in a situation where 'that was then, this is now".

At one point, Dustin Hoffman tried to defend himself by saying, "You weren't there".

That intern wasn't just an anonymous ex-Hollywood grunt - she was Anna Graham Hunter, the Hoffman accuser whose allegations prompted the showdown. Importantly, the director of that film immediately came out and, despite knowing he would surely get backlash within the now extremely toxic environment, strongly defended Hoffman, saying that he remembers the situation very differently. 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. She added that "he didn't douse flames with a joke, either". Over the course of the agonizingly awkward confrontation, the supporting players largely stayed silent while Oliver and Hoffman sparred, dividing the audience with their heated rhetoric.

We need the John Oliver treatment on all sexual harassment "apologies", stat.

"I think it was instructive insofar as it showed a lot of men in Hollywood have no language to discuss this culture [of harassment], no concept for breaking it down", Madison III noted. He also continued to cast aspersions on Hunter, asking Oliver why he was so quick to believe her. "No one stands up to powerful men.'" Indeed, a second allegation was made against Hoffman of sexual harassment by producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis who alleges that, as a playwright in 1991, a meeting with the actor and Tootsie screenwriter Murray Schisgal turned unprofessional following inappropriate remarks.

Oliver picked him up on that final line, calling it a "cop out". Ira Madison III, a writer at the Daily Beast and popular social-media pundit, said that the fact that Oliver's HBO show doesn't rely on guests - most of the segments are long-form issue-based monologues - keeps him uniquely free of restraints.

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