John Oliver Confronts Dustin Hoffman Over Sexual Harassment Claims

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During a panel discussing the anniversary of a film, John Oliver forced Dustin Hoffman to address allegations that he groped an intern in the 1980s.

John Oliver speaks into a microphone onstage.

“Last Week Tonight” host John Oliver changed gears while leading a panel at the Tribeca Institute in New York Monday night in order to address allegations against actor Dustin Hoffman regarding him groping a film intern in the 1980s.

While taking part in a panel discussion on the 20 years since the release of the movie “Wag the Dog,” which starred Hoffman and Robert de Niro, Oliver candidly shifted focus away from the movie and toward Hoffman, who was also sitting in on the panel.

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

Oliver then brought up the allegations made against Hoffman, leveled by writer Anna Graham Hunter, who had worked with the actor as a production intern on the set of 1985’s “Death Of A Salesman.”

According to Hunter, Hoffman made unwanted sexual comments toward her, as well as grabbed her buttocks while working with her. Hunter was 17 at the time of the filming.

Addressing Oliver on the panel, Hoffman repeated the defense he’s already made about Hunter, namely that he doesn’t remember her at all.

“I still don’t know who this woman is,” Hoffman said.

He also tried to defend himself by stating that the allegations leveled against him don’t match who he is as a person. But Oliver didn’t accept that as a valid excuse.

“It’s ‘not reflective of who I am,’” Oliver said, repeating a line that many who have been accused of sexual assault have used before. “It’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off.”

The audience seemed split in Oliver’s insistence that this topic be addressed, according to BuzzFeed News' reporting of the event. Some were very supportive of the debate coming up, applauding Oliver’s courageousness in speaking on the allegations against Hoffman, while others seemed bothered by the fact that a panel meant to address the anniversary of a film delved into other topics.

Twitter was also split on the issue, although the top-trending tweets seem to support his actions.

Having these types conversations, especially unscripted and unprompted, is exactly what’s needed right now. Oliver was also right to dismiss Hoffman’s excuse — his personal character doesn’t excuse this woman’s accusations against him. Plenty of “good people” have done bad things in the past, and it isn’t a valid defense that should be seen as acceptable in this case.

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