TV host John Oliver recently confronted veteran actor Dustin Hoffman about the sexual harassment charges that were brought against him earlier this month.
According to the Independent, the exchange between the two saw Oliver grilling Hoffman on the accusations, while Hoffman attempts to explain his side.
Oliver said, “This is something we’re going to have to talk about because it’s hanging in the air,” to which Hoffman replied, “It’s hanging in the air? From a few things you’ve read, you’ve made an incredible assumption about me. You’ve made the case better than anyone else can. I’m guilty.”
But the whole conversation got really heated when the Last Week Tonight show host addressed Hoffman’s official apology. “You’ve made one statement in print. Does that feel like enough to you?” Oliver asked.
With regards to Anna Graham Hunter’s claims, Hoffman noted, “First of all, it didn’t happen, the way she reported. I still don’t know who this woman is. I never met her. If I met her, it was in concert with other people.” He then noted that his apology was encouraged by his reps and became “misconstrued at the click of a button”.
But Oliver honed in on the fact that Hoffman said his actions in the past aren’t reflective of who he is as a person.
He said, “It’s that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off. 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?”
“It’s difficult to answer that question. You weren’t there,” Hoffman shot back as Oliver responded, “I’m glad.”
Hoffman continued, “We were doing this [acting on a set]. And to break it up – actors, people on crews know these things – you do these things. You say things. So suddenly, one of the things was, you come to work on Monday, “Did you have sex Friday?” You break it up. Everyone was saying it to each other. It’s a family. It becomes a family in which 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. That’s 40 years ago.”
Oliver said that he didn’t “love that response either.”
“What response do you want? What would you have done?” asked Hoffman. “It’s not for me to say. It feels like dismissals or recontextualizing it is not addressing it. It doesn’t feel self-reflective in the way the incident demands,” Oliver said, adding, “I get no pleasure from having this conversation but you and I are not the victims here.”
Despite other members of the panel, and a few members of the audience asking Oliver to “move on” from the conversation. “I can’t leave certain things unaddressed,” Oliver explained toward the end of the panel.