John Oliver confronts Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment claims during live interview: 'No one stands up to powerful men'

The audience was 'visibly shocked' as the TV host debated with the actor during a live Q&A

Jacob Stolworthy
Tuesday 05 December 2017 10:20 GMT
John Oliver takes on Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment claims during live interview: 'No one stands up to powerful men'

John Oliver got into a heated debate with Dustin Hoffman over the sexual harassment allegations made against the actor during a film panel on Monday night (4 December).

The Last Week Tonight host grilled the Oscar-winner during a Tribeca Institute 20th anniversary panel and screening of 1997 film Wag the Dog during which Hoffman vehemently defended his behaviour and accused Oliver of “making a very quick judgement."

“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because... it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said. in reference to the allegations that he sexually harassed Anna Graham-Hunter as a 17-year-old production assistant on the set of his 1985 TV film Death of a Salesman.

Audience members - including The Washington Post journalist Steve Zeitchik - were said to be "visibly shocked" by the interaction in which Oliver expressed disappointment in Hoffman's original apology in which he claimed the behaviour is not reflective of who he is.

“It’s that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off," Oliver stated. "It is reflective of who you were. You’ve given no evidence to show that it didn’t happen. There was a period of time when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘Well, this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”

Meryl Streep responds to claims Dustin Hoffman groped her when they first met

“Do you believe this stuff you read?” Hoffman asked to which Oliver replied he did "...because there’s no point in [an accuser] lying.”

“Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years,” Hoffman said.

Hoffman spent the remainder of the Q&A attempting to contextualise his behaviour, words which were continually combatted by Oliver who later expressed why he couldn't stay silent.

"I can't leave certain things unaddressed," he reportedly told the audience. "That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, "Why the f*** didn't I say something? No one stands up to powerful men.'"

A second allegation of sexual harassment was made against Hoffman 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.

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