John Oliver questions Dustin Hoffman over groping allegations

'You weren't there!': John Oliver has 'uncomfortable' argument with Dustin Hoffman during panel for 20th anniversary of Wag the Dog

'You weren't there!': John Oliver has 'uncomfortable' argument with Dustin Hoffman during panel for 20th anniversary of Wag the Dog

Last night, December 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.

According to the Washington Post's Steve Zeitchik, who was at the event and live-tweeted the exchange, Oliver brought up the allegations about halfway through a post-screening panel discussion, which also included Robert De Niro, producer Jane Rosenthal, and director Barry Levinson.

He said: "I said a stupid thing but I said it in the midst of the crew, and they said their stupid things". "Hoffman asked to which Oliver replied he did "...because there's no point in [an accuser] lying". After a heated back and forth, Hoffman said to Oliver, "You weren't there". He called into question Dustin Hoffman's response to the allegations. It did not manifestly address another claim, by the writer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, that Hoffman had propositioned her inappropriately in a pitch meeting in 1991.

Since then, Hoffman, 80, has blamed "the atmosphere" of the 1980s for his actions, suggesting sexual harassment was more accepted back then.

"You weren't there", Hoffman said to Oliver about the "Salesman" set.

Hoffman previously apologized in a statement to Hunter, saying he was sorry for "anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation". Oliver jumped on that, calling the actor out for not having provided any evidence to show the harassment didn't happen.

Streep's story echoes Hoffman's own account of "very gently" pinching the rear of his "Graduate" co-star Katharine Ross as a way to loosen her up during their first screen test, Slate said. "It is reflective of who you were".

After Oliver read a line from Hunter's diary, Dustin asked, "Do you believe the stuff that you read?"

"CBS News correspondent Laura Podesta tweeted, "'You've made this incredible assumption about me, sir, ' Hoffman said to Oliver.

On Monday night, John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman about the various sexual misconduct claims that have surfaced against him over the past few weeks.

Oliver added it felt like a "cop-out to say "it wasn't me", and that Hoffman's response may feel "like a dismissal". "If I met her it was in concert with other people".

The poor quality video is edited and only about six minutes of the one-hour panel discussion was posted online by the Washington Post. He reminded Oliver and the audience that this was 40 years ago. "I'm glad", Oliver retorted.

Hoffman and Oliver did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

The discussion comes as Hollywood grapples with how to clean up its act amid allegations against a string of stars and executives, and was a rare example of one of those men being challenged in public.

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