John Oliver admits Dustin Hoffman confrontation "made me feel sad"
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for Bob Woodruff Foundation(NEW YORK) — John Oliver was lauded in some quarters earlier this month for confronting Dustin Hoffman about allegations of sexual harassment made against him, but to the Last Week Tonight host, the conversation was a bit of a failure.
In a new interview with British comedian Russell Howard, Oliver said that he’d planned ahead of time to have the discussion with Hoffman, but it fell short of his expectations.
“It didn’t really go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing just made me feel sad,” Oliver said on The Russell Howard Hour on SkyOne TV. “I just wanted it to become something more constructive, but it was clear pretty early on that was not going to happen. [But] I did try. I tried and failed.”
Hoffman has been accused of misconduct by several women, including Anna Graham Hunter, who alleged that when she was a 17-year old intern on the set of Hoffman’s television film, Death of a Salesman, Hoffman questioned her about her sex life and, on more than one occasion, grabbed her backside. Hoffman apologized for “anything I might have done” at that time.
“I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am,” he said in a statement at the time.
The confrontation between Oliver and Hoffman occurred during a panel at an anniversary screening of the film Wag the Dog about a month after the first allegations against Hoffman were made.
On the panel, Oliver called Hoffman’s apology “a cop-out” and “a dismissal.” Hoffman said that Oliver was close-minded and accused him of “putting me on display.”
“I felt it was unavoidable,” Oliver told Howard of the interchange. “I felt like I had to bring it up.”
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