For the past several weeks, I’ve woken up and thought: “I wonder who is going to get accused of sexual harassment today?“. But recently I’ve just been slapping the snooze and thinking, “Okay, five more minutes before I see who the latest alleged creeps are.” Dustin Hoffman was already accused of sexual assault by a woman who says he groped her when she was a 17-year-old production assistant. And now another accuser has come forward.
Dustin Hoffman was outed as an on-set asshole last year by Vanity Fair, so I guess it shouldn’t be that much of a shock that his at-work assholery might also include the type that would cause an HR rep to grab an extra strength Advil. Producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis tells Variety of an experience she had working with Dustin in NYC in 1991 when she was in her 20s and he was 53.
Wendy says she had scheduled a meeting with Dustin and screenwriter Murray Schisgal to talk about adapting her play, A Darker Purpose, into a movie starring Dustin. She had two meetings with Dustin in his production company’s offices. She says the first one started out gross; Wendy claims screenwriter Murry opened it by asking if she had a boyfriend. Wendy claims Dustin jokingly told Murray he couldn’t talk to women like that anymore because “times are changing.” The meeting became more professional. Then Wendy met with Dustin and Murray for a second meeting, and that one also went south pretty fast.
According to Wendy, Dustin asked her if she had ever been “intimate” with a man over 40, and tried to sell her on the idea, telling her it would be “a whole new body to explore.” Wendy says she tried to steer the conversation back to her play, but Dustin didn’t want to keep the meeting with her in his office. She claims he got up and told her he had to do some shopping at a nearby store located in a hotel, and asked her to come with him. Wendy declined, but Dustin persisted. Murray allegedly encouraged her to go with him to the hotel. She kept declining. Dustin eventually left without Wendy. When Wendy asked Murray if they could finally talk about the play, she claims Murray informed her they “weren’t really interested,” and they passed on it.
Wendy says she told her agent about the incident, and her agent assured her she did nothing wrong and that there had been rumors about Dustin Hoffman for years.
A spokesperson for Dustin Hoffman declined to comment. Murray Schisgal gave a statement to Variety basically saying he doesn’t remember.
“Dustin Hoffman and I took many meetings with writers and playwrights over many years. I have no recollection of this meeting or of any of the behavior or actions described.”
There is so much to side-eye Dustin Hoffman for in this story, but I think the most egregious thing is the part about asking her to go clothes shopping with him. What woman besides his wife would say yes to that? Oh yes, please let me accompany you while you run errands. Watching you try on 20 pairs of the same pleated-front khakis in a hot, boring men’s clothing store that smells like air freshener and polyester blends gets me so horny.