John Oliver questions Dustin Hoffman about sexual harassment allegations in front of a live audience

John Oliver tore into Dustin Hoffman's apology and asked hard-hitting questions

John Oliver came all guns blazing at Dustin Hoffman, who has been accused of alleged sexual misconduct by Anna Graham Hunter during the shoot of The Death of a Salesman in 1985. Hunter was interning as a production assistant on the film when the incident allegedly occurred. She was 17 at the time.

“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,” said Hunter in an interview.

In a striking demonstration of anger TV show host, Oliver tore into Hoffman’s ‘apology’ issued after Hunter’s statements came to light. All of this, in front of a live audience. At the end of the 45-minute Q&A session, there are two takeaways: Hoffman’s inability to answer Oliver’s queries satisfactorily, and a deafeningly loud applause for the latter.

The heated argument between Hoffman and Oliver took place midway through a panel meant to celebrate the 20th anniversary of black comedy, Wag the Dog. Along with Dustin Hoffman, the panel also saw the presence of his co-star Robert De Niro, film’s director Barry Levinson and producer Jane Rosenthal.

Dustin Hoffman

Taking the harassment allegations head-on, Oliver told Dustin Hoffman he needed to address the issue as it was hanging in the air. After the allegations were published, Hoffman had released a statement saying it was not ‘reflective of who he was’.

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Excerpts from the interview:

John: You’ve made one statement in print. Does that feel enough for you?
Dustin: First of all, it didn’t happen the way she reported.
John: You said it is not reflective of who I am. But it is reflective of who you are
Dustin: I still don’t know who this woman is. I never met her. If I met her it was in concert with other people.
John: It’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off. It feels like a cop-out to say ‘well this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?
Dustin: Do you believe this stuff you’re reading?
John: I believe what she said is true.
Dustin: Why
John: Because there is no reason for her to lie
Dustin: But why did she not speak anything for 40 years?
John: Oh! Dustin


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At the end of the talk, an audience member even thanked Oliver for ‘believing in women’. The applause, however, was not restricted to the auditorium and spilt over to Twitter as well.

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