Dustin Hoffman & John Oliver Get Heated Over Harassment Claims

John Oliver grills Dustin Hoffman over sexual misconduct allegations

"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.

Speaking on a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival in NY, the two battled over an accusation that surfaced last month that Hoffman groped and inappropriately touched Anna Graham Hunter when she was an intern on Hoffman's 1985 film "Death of a Salesman", according to The Washington Post.

"I have the utmost respect for women and feel bad that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation", Hoffman said at the time. "I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am".

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. "Does that feel like enough to you?"

To which the actor replied: "First of all, it didn't happen, the way she reported".

Hoffman then emphasized that, though he made a conditional apology at the time of the allegation last month, that he had not groped someone and did not recall meeting Hunter: "I never met her; if I met her it was in concert with other people".

After Oliver read from a 1985 diary entry written by intern Anna Graham Hunter, Hoffman asked the host if he believed what he'd just read. "It is reflective of who you were", Oliver said.

"I get no pleasure from having this conversation", Oliver said, "But you and I are not the victims here".

Hoffman fired back, "You weren't there".

Their sparring continued when Hoffman began talking about his career and his feminist politics, with Oliver interjecting, "Oh Jesus". So, "the things that we do between takes" sounds benign - if it is to you. You break it up. "Because the crew and the actors are there, we are one, we are a family". But they were sexual in terms of the humor of it. Hoffman explained the accusation was 40 years old.

"What response do you want?" 'Why the...didn't I say something?

"It feels like dismissals or recontexualising".

Later in the conversation, Oliver read a quote about Hoffman that Hunter said she wrote in 1985: "No one is 100 percent good or bad". "He's thoughtful, but not articulate and extremely neurotic and indecisive, but I also found him decent, friendly, and fair". After a leaden beat, Hoffman replied, "Do you believe the stuff that you read?"

"Yes", Oliver replied. "Because there's no point in [an accuser] lying". John said to Dustin. Watch parts of their interaction below.

The back-and-forth came at a 20th-anniversary screening panel at the 92nd Street Y. Onstage in addition to Oliver and Hoffman were Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson.

"I can't leave certain things unaddressed", he reportedly told the audience. "The easy way is not to bring anything up. That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, 'Why the fuck didn't I say something?'"

The fallout has been massive and immediate as some of the most powerful men in Hollywood have lost jobs and credibility. It was the most strident confrontation by a late night talk show host, several of whom, including Jimmy Fallon, have been accused of staying away from wading into the issues of sexual misconduct in Hollywood brought on by a wave of accusations against powerful men.

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