John Oliver Confronts Dustin Hoffman on Sexual Harassment Allegations
John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman regarding his sexual harassment allegations during a Q&A before a screening of his 1997 film “Wag the Dog” at New York’s 92Y. The allegations were regarding a sexual assault of Anna Graham Hunter during the set of 1985’s “Death of a Salesman,” and the conversation was noted for both how tense it was and how necessary it was — with John Oliver trying to get a good honest response from Dustin Hoffman, and the actor dodging it.
”This is something we’re going to have to talk about because it’s hanging in the air”, said Oliver, to which Hoffman responded defensively, accusing Oliver of believing everything he reads about him blindly. Oliver, however, was not deterred, pressing Hoffman on his apology, and in particular, the last sentence which read “this is not indicative of who I am”, to which Oliver responded —
“It’s ‘not reflective of who I am’ — it’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off. It is reflective of who you were. If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t 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?”
Oliver read from Hunter’s diary, to which Hoffman responded, “Do you believe that stuff you read,” to which Oliver responded, “I believe what she wrote, yes”, and when Hoffman asked why, Oliver responded, “Because there’s no point in her lying.” Hoffman responded “Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years,” to which Oliver simply replied “Oh, Dustin”.
The event continued in a tense manner, with half of the audience being upset at Dustin Hoffman and celebrating John Oliver, and the other half dismayed that John Oliver was leading a tense conversation with Hoffman. Nevertheless, it feels like a necessary discussion to have and Oliver has been rightly celebrated for doing so.