HBO host John Oliver slammed actor Dustin Hoffman for not saying more to address the seedy sexual harassment allegations against him.
“You’ve made one statement in print. Does that feel like enough to you?” Oliver asked Hoffman, who apologized last month for groping a 17-year-old production assistant in 1985.
This photo was taken before #92Y panel discussion got v heated; John Oliver asked Dustin Hoffman about the sexual assault allegations against him… Hoffman denied knowing the woman. pic.twitter.com/xihbNt50fM
— Laura Podesta (@LauraPodestaTV) December 5, 2017
Hoffman made the remarks during a panel discussion in New York to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his film “Wag the Dog.”
“First of all, it didn’t happen the way she reported it,” the Oscar winner said. Oliver fired back by blasting what he considered Hoffman’s equivocation.
“It’s that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off!” Oliver said. “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 creeping around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘Well, this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”
Hoffman defensively replied: “You weren’t there.” Oliver shot back: “I’m glad.”
The controversy stems from accusations levied by author Anna Graham Hunter, who claims Hoffman sexually harassed and groped her when she was a 17-year-old production assistant on the set of the 1985 TV movie “Death of a Salesman.”
“He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he talked about sex to me and in front of me,” Hoffman recounted in the Hollywood Reporter.
Hoffman continued: “One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, ‘I’ll have a hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris.’ His entourage burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the bathroom and cried.”
Story I wrote for The Hollywood Reporter https://t.co/pprfvXBjRd
— Anna Graham Hunter (@annaghunter) November 1, 2017
Last month, Hoffman issued a statement apologizing for his behavior: “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.”
Since then, Hoffman, 80, has blamed “the atmosphere” of the 1980s for his actions, suggesting sexual harassment was more accepted back then. And that’s what angered Oliver.
“It doesn’t feel self-reflective in the way it seems the incident demands,” Oliver said.
Hoffman got defensive, saying the British comedian “indicted” him. “You have indicted me,” he said. “That’s ‘not innocent until proven guilty.’”
Oliver jabbed back: “I get no pleasure from this conversation. But you and I are not the victims here.”
The Dustin Hoffman sexual harassment scandal is the latest sordid incident spotlighting the pervasive sexual abuse in Hollywood and the media.
Last week, NBC fired “Today” show anchor Matt Lauer amid multiple accusations that he harassed, groped and abused female staffers. One alleged victim even accused Lauer of having sex with her until she passed out.
In October 2017, NBC News reporter Ronan Farrow said NBC refused to run his story about accused rapist Harvey Weinstein even though he had audio tape of the film mogul harassing a woman.
When asked why NBC refused to run his story, Farrow shrugged: “You’d have to ask NBC.”
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