John Oliver vs. Dustin Hoffman: ‘The Last Week Tonight’ Host Grills Actor Over Sexual Harassment Allegations
It got heated between Last Week Tonight host John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman during a Tribeca panel of 1997’s Wag the Dog.
John Oliver is no stranger to getting into it with people who have done wrong or are doing wrong to the innocent. His show, Last Week Tonight, has become a platform of sorts in championing truth and justice over all, which has significantly impacted culture as we know it. Last night, Dec. 4, John brought his walking stick into the real world at a Tribeca Institute 20th anniversary panel of the 1997 film, Wag the Dog, where he debated actor Dustin Hoffman over the sexual harassment allegations made against him by Anna Graham-Hunter.
“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because… it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said in reference to the allegations where Huffman sexually harassed Graham-Hunter as a 17-year-old production assistant on the set of his 1985 TV film Death of a Salesman. Audience members, which included The Washington Post journalist Steve Zeitchik, were “visibly shocked” by the interaction.
Oliver expressed disappointment in Hoffman’s original apology in which he claimed the behavior is not “reflective of who he is.” “It’s that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off,” Oliver stated. “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 a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘Well, this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”
“Do you believe this stuff you read?” Hoffman asked to which Oliver replied he did “…because there’s no point in [an accuser] lying.” “Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years,” Hoffman said. The celebrated actor would then spend the remainder of the Q&A attempting to contextualize his behavior, words which were combated by Oliver who later expressed why he couldn’t stay silent.
“I can’t leave certain things unaddressed,” he reportedly told the audience. “That leads to me at home later tonight hating myself, asking, ‘Why the f**k didn’t I say something? No one stands up to powerful men.’” Indeed, a second allegation was made against Hoffman of sexual harassment by producer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis who alleges that, as a playwright in 1991, a meeting with the actor and Tootsie screenwriter Murray Schisgal turned unprofessional following inappropriate remarks.
Watch the war of words between John Oliver and Dustin Hoffman below, and share your own thoughts with us @Okayplayer.