In The Know

John Oliver confronts Dustin Hoffman over sexual harassment in testy exchange

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver got into a tense exchange Monday with actor Dustin Hoffman over allegations that the actor groped a 17-year-old intern on the set of a 1985 television movie.

Speaking on a panel at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York, the two battled over an accusation that surfaced last month that Hoffman groped and inappropriately touched Anna Graham Hunter when she was an intern on Hoffman’s 1985 film “Death of a Salesman,” according to The Washington Post.

“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver began, alluding to Hunter’s accusation.

“It’s hanging in the air?” Hoffman shot back. “From a few things you’ve read you’ve made an incredible assumption about me.” 

“You’ve made the case better than anyone else can. I’m guilty,” the actor added sarcastically.

Hoffman issued an apology last month, saying that he didn’t mean to put anyone in an “uncomfortable situation.” Two other women have also accused Hoffman of similar behavior, including a co-star who says he groped her on set and a writer who says Hoffman inappropriately propositioned her during a pitch meeting.

“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation,” Hoffman said in his apology.

“I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

But on Monday, Hoffman denied knowing Hunter and claimed that he never met her.

“I still don’t know who this woman is,” Hoffman said. “I never met her; if I met her it was in concert with other people.”

Oliver criticized Hoffman for his initial statement.

“It’s ‘not reflective of who I am’ — it’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” Oliver said.  “It is reflective of who you were.”

“If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t [happen], then there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women,” he added. “It feels like a cop-out to say ‘It wasn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”

The hourlong session ended shortly after, as the two were unable to move past the issue.

Tags Dustin Hoffman Harvey Weinstein Hollywood John Oliver Sexual assault Sexual harassment Tribeca Film Festival

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