John Oliver took a strong stance against sexual assault when he confronted Dustin Hoffman about the groping claims against him. Watch the intense discussion here.
There have been numerous women coming forward lately with their stories of sexual harassment and assault, and while it’s incredible these victims are bringing awareness to this issue, there haven’t been as many men condemning these alleged abusers. John Oliver, 40, however, took a strong stance against sexual misconduct when he turned a 20th anniversary showing of Barry Levinson’s Wag the Dog into an opportunity to confront Dustin Hoffman, 80, about the allegations of sexual harassment that have been made against him. The video of the confrontation was caught on video by Kathryn Hopkins for WWD and can be watched above.
Last month, actress Anna Graham Hunter accused Dustin of groping her and making inappropriate comments while she was a 17-year-old intern on set of the 1985 TV movie Death of a Salesman. After her column for The Hollywood Reporter came out with the allegations, a second woman Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, told Variety that the actor propositioned her in 1991 during a meeting.
During the Monday night event, John felt like the accusations couldn’t go undiscussed. “This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said to Hoffman at the discussion he was moderating. “It’s hanging in the air?” Hoffman said. “From a few things you’ve read you’ve made an incredible assumption about me.”
At the time the allegations came out against him, Dustin offered a conditional apology, but he noted several times at the panel that he didn’t really believe he did anything wrong. He said he didn’t grope anyone, and couldn’t even recall meeting Anna on set. “I still don’t know who this woman is,” Dustin said. “I never met her; if I met her it was in concert with other people.” John thought his response wasn’t good enough, and brought up that the actor said in his previous statement that his behavior during filming was “not reflective of” who he was.
“It’s ‘not reflective of who I am’ — it’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” John said. “It is reflective of who you were. If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t [happen] then there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say ‘it wasn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”
The discussion, which also included Robert DeNiro, 74, producer Jane Rosenthal, 61, and director Barry Levinson, 75, continued to be largely dominated by the topic of sexual harassment, even after John tried to take the subject back to the film the New York event was honoring. “Do you believe this stuff you read?” Dustin asked after John tried to move on from the topic. “Yes, because there’s no point in [an accuser] lying,” John replied. “Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years,” Hoffman answered. “Oh Dustin,” Oliver said as he put his head in his hand. Watch the discussion below.
HollywoodLifers, what do you think of John confronting Dustin about the sexual harassment allegations against him?