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December 05, 2017

John Oliver blasts Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment allegations

Tense exchanged at Tribeca Film between 'Last Week Tonight' host and actor was recorded on video by reporter

A good-natured screening on Monday night turned into a fiery exchange between HBO host John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman about a recent allegation of sexual misconduct against the actor.

Washington Post reporter Steven Zeitchik captured the video at a Tribeca Film screening of the 1997 film "Wag the Dog." 

Actors Hoffman and Robert De Niro sat in for a panel discussion with producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson. Oliver, who moderated the event, reportedly broached the allegation about midway through the hour-long discussion. The "Last Week Tonight" host then dominated the discussion for most of the time that remained, the Post reported.

"I get no pleasure from having this conversation, but you and I are not the victims here," Oliver told Hoffman.

In a Hollywood Reporter column last month, actress Anna Graham Hunter alleged that Hoffman groped her and was "openly flirtatious" with her when she was a 17-year-old production intern on the set of the 1985 TV film "Death of a Salesman."

The Academy Award-winning actor apologized in response to the first allegation, but he did not admit to any wrongdoing.

He had said in a statement the claims were "not reflective of who I am."

"'It's not reflective of who I am.' It's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off," Oliver said. "Because it is reflective of who you were if it happened, and you've given no evidence to show it didn't happen."

Hoffman later asked Oliver if he believed "this stuff that you read."

"Yes," Oliver said, adding that "there's no point in her lying."

Hoffman responded by saying "there is a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years," which drew groans from the audience.

The conversation also turned to Hoffman's saying in the DVD commentary of "The Graduate" that he pinched co-star Katharine Ross in the right buttocks to "loosen us up."

The Post reported that Hoffman accused Oliver of "putting me on display" and said he felt blindsided because he had not been told Oliver would bring up the subject.

The clip, posted to YouTube by the Post, can be seen in full below.