John Oliver grills Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment claims

Sergio Conner
December 7, 2017

John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman got into a heated exchange regarding the sexual harassment allegations leveled at the actor during a panel discussion Monday night at a benefit event for the Tribeca Film Institute.

As per The Washington Post scribe Steve Zeitchik, Hoffman "grew visibly uncomfortable" as Oliver confronted him, which was followed by a back-and-forth between the two.

"You've made one statement in print..."

After a point of time, the actor said, "You weren't there", to which the "Last Week Tonight" host replied, "I'm happy I wasn't".

That intern wasn't just an anonymous ex-Hollywood grunt - she was Anna Graham Hunter, the Hoffman accuser whose allegations prompted the showdown. And that is "if".to, you know, that was out of sorts while I advised her, I apologize.

To which Oliver responded by saying that there needs to be a "cultural shift" in what was viewed as appropriate behaviour because what might seem amusing to one person might have damning effects on the other. He then noted that his apology was encouraged by his reps and became "misconstrued at the click of a button".

"This is a story I've told so often I'm sometimes surprised when someone I know hasn't heard it". "It's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off", he said. That person was drowned out by others, including one who said, "Shame on you". You've given no evidence to show that it didn't happen. "Does that feel like enough to you?"

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"It's hard to answer that question".

"You weren't there", the actor told Oliver. Hoffman continued to reiterate that working on a film for hours, they have to blow off some steam and that all that was said was merely harmless banter between "family". You come to work on Monday, 'Did you have sex on Friday?' You break it up. You break it up. Everyone was saying it to each other. 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 humour of it.

Hoffman then said: 'You weren't there'. 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.

"You wanted to catch the motherf-cker off guard because you're a fake ass motherf-ckin freedom fighter", he added in a video posted to Twitter. "What would you have done?" asked Hoffman. 'Why [.] didn't I say something?

Trying to fully to understand how one's response could be a dismissal of the accuser is critical.

The discussion was largely calm and cordial, though one person in the audience yelled at Oliver to "Move on".

According to a report in The Washington Post, Oliver said that he was going to discuss the changing climate in the entertainment industry, where many powerful figures have faced precipitous consequences as accounts of their sexual misdeeds have been brought to light.

Other reports by

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