John Oliver questions Dustin Hoffman over groping allegations

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

Oliver shot back saying that "Dismissals or recontextualisation it is not actually addressing [it]".

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

Oliver received applause, saying there probably needs to be a culture shift surrounding the lag time Hoffman described. I'm sorry, it's not reflective of who I am.

That's when audience members began to get involved, with one woman shouting "Let it go" to Oliver, while others said "Shame on you" to her, and "Thank you for believing women" to Oliver. Because the crew and the actors are there, we are one. "First of all, it didn't happen the way she reported", Hoffman replied, casting doubt on the details of Hunter's story.

"It's that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off", Oliver said. "It's 'not reflective of who I am.' But it is reflective of who you were". Then there was a period of time for a while when you were creeping around women. "This conversation doesn't do any good". His show, Last Week Tonight, has become a platform of sorts in championing truth and justice over all, which has significantly impacted culture as we know it. "How are we moving forward?" 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.

The unusual faceoff - in which an HBO host repeatedly challenged a prickly Oscar victor at an anniversary screening of the movie "Wag the Dog" - has spurred talk of a changed culture as a normally well choreographed affair saw the removal of both veil and gloves. In that acclaimed film, he played a struggling NY actor who successfully masquerades as a middle-aged actress to win a part in a hit soap opera.

"How could I have made that movie if I didn't have incredible respect for women?". And that is "if" I did anything to her that was, you know, out of sorts, or I embarrassed her, I apologize.


A spokeswoman for Hoffman was not immediately available to comment on Monday's exchange. At the time, she was just 17-years-old. Hoffman has previously issued an apology about his alleged behaviour. "Because there's no point in [an accuser] lying", Hoffman said, "Well, there's a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years". "It's hard for me to find a woman unattractive, unless she's angry or down on herself".

According to a piece Hunter published in the Hollywood Reporter, Hoffman made sexually explicit comments to her and touched her inappropriately.

Again, none of these other claims about Hoffman came up during Monday night's panel discussion.

Despite this background, Oliver seemed to think that he was challenging Weinstein or Bill Cosby and that therefore, regardless of the impropriety of the setting, had both a moral obligation to attack Hoffman, as well as the factual foundation on which to do so. After a leaden beat, Hoffman replied, "Do you believe the stuff that you read?"

"No one stands up to powerful men". But Oliver called out this apology - and its last line specifically - as inadequate.

"You take it, 'This is an assaulter, this is a female assaulter, he's admitted it, '" he said, adding he felt like he was "put on display" at the panel meant to be focused on something else.

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