John Oliver Grilled Dustin Hoffman About His Sexual Harassment Allegations

December 5, 2017 / Posted by:

One of the recurring things said during this late-in-2017 Sexual Misconduct Creepocalypse we’re experiencing has been that it’s an issue men need to address. Last night, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver moderated a 20th anniversary screening event for Wag the Dog in NYC. So John, a man, decided to address the recent allegations of sexual harassment against Dustin Hoffman. Except that’s not a conversation that Dustin wanted to have with an audience full of people.

Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter say that about 20 minutes into a 45-minute Q&A prior to the screening, John said he wanted to talk about the current climate of sexual misconduct in show business. After hearing what director Barry Levinson had to say, John moved onto Dustin. This is what the situation looked like before Street Fighter: John vs. Dustin happened. Everybody is having a good time.

And then that good time picked up its coat and left. THR says that John brought up the apology Dustin issued in response to claims by Anna Graham Hunter that he was a massive creep to her on set of Death of a Salesman back in 1985. John asked if a single printed apology felt like enough to him. Dustin responded “First of all, it didn’t happen, the way she reported,” and went on to claim that the apology was issued at the insistence of his reps. John, who was clearly on the debate team at Zero Shits University, proceeded to rip Dustin for the part of his apology in which he claimed the accusations didn’t reflect who he was as a person.

John Oliver: “It’s that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off. It is reflective of who you were. You’ve given no evidence to show that it didn’t happen. There was a period of time when you were creeping around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘Well, this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”

Dustin Hoffman: “You weren’t there.”

John Oliver: “I’m happy I wasn’t.”

According to those in attendance, it got messy for Dustin.

Deadline says that John remarked,”I get no pleasure from this conversation. But you and I are not the victims here.” He then quoted one of Dustin’s accusers, to which Dustin asked John if he believed “the stuff” you’re reading. John replied that he did, because she would have no reason to lie about it. Congratulations, John Oliver, you just made your first appearance in roughly 600,000 feminist wank banks.

Wag the Dog producer Jane Rosenthal (also on the panel) tried to steer the conversation away from Dustin’s alleged grossness by bringing up how important it was to talk about the larger struggle, like pay inequality. But John Oliver refused to let it go.

“We’re about to watch a movie where sexual harassment is an under-plot and there’s an elephant in the room because this conversation is not being had.”

Jane reportedly hissed back that Wag the Dog wasn’t produced by The Weinstein Company, and it doesn’t star Kevin Spacey, and that they should be focusing on “real sexual predators.” John Oliver responded, saying he had to.

“I can’t leave certain things unaddressed. That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, ‘Why the fuck didn’t I say something? No one stands up to powerful men.'”

The conversation finally ended with Dustin telling a story about how he experienced misogyny after being in costume during the filming of Tootsie. Dustin then asked John how he could have made a movie like Tootsie if he didn’t have “incredible respect” for women. Oh, well there you have it! Dustin Hoffman can’t be an alleged creep – he put on pantyhose and a wig and threw his voice in an upper register once! Case closed. With that being said, I would not be surprised if a plus-size starter drag queen kit was just ordered by a Harvie Winestain and shipped to Arizona.


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