John Oliver grills Hoffman about abuse allegations
NEW YORK - A starry anniversary discussion of the film “Wag the Dog” turned testy Monday when moderator John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman about allegations of sexual harassment made against the actor.
Hoffman seemed blindsided and defensive by the line of questioning from the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.” Hoffman explained the accusation was 40 years old.
“I don’t love that response either,” Oliver said. Hoffman shot back: “What response do you want?” Hoffman maintained that he did nothing wrong.
Actress Anna Graham Hunter has alleged that Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate comments when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of the 1985 TV movie “Death of a Salesman.”
Hoffman had said in an earlier statement that the incident “is not reflective of who I am,” which Oliver seized on and called a “cop-out,” adding, “It is reflective of who you were.’’
Hoffman complained: “You’ve put me on display here.”
The back-and-forth came at a 20th-anniversary screening panel at the 92nd Street Y. Onstage in addition to Oliver and Hoffman were Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson.
“I get no pleasure from having this conversation, but you and I are not the victims here,” Oliver told Hoffman.
The exchange was reported by The Washington Post, which also posted a video of part of the conversation.
Actor Terry Crews, who has been outspoken about his own experience as a victim of sexual harassment and filed a lawsuit against his alleged attacker Tuesday, tweeted his support to Oliver.
“For things to truly change, men must hold other men accountable,’’ Crews wrote. “Thank you @iamjohnoliver, for being an example of what true manhood looks like.’’