John Oliver questions Dustin Hoffman over groping allegations


Hunter published her account of her encounters with Hoffman - including diary entries she wrote at the time in which she said she had accused him of being a "dirty old man" - in The Hollywood Reporter in November.

About halfway through last night's, according to various reports and the Washington Post talk Oliver addressed the issue saying, "This is something we're going to have to talk about because ... it's hanging in the air" to which Hoffman replied, "It's hanging in the air?"

Responding to the remark, Hoffman said: "It's hanging in the air?". Hunter claimed that Hoffman, one of her movie star idols, groped her and made inappropriate comments on the set of "Death of a Salesman".

In a statement, Dustin said he has the "utmost respect for women" and feels awful that anything he might've said or done would've upset a woman with whom he worked. Oliver said. "It is reflective of who you were". After a leaden beat, Hoffman replied, "Do you believe the stuff that you read?"

"You've made the case better than anyone else can".

"I think it's the things that we do in between takes where there's probably a cultural shift that needs to happen", he said to applause from the audience.

"It's "not reflective of who I am" - it's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off". HBO presenter Oliver has won praise on social media for forcing Dustin to confront the allegations, but was heckled by some members of the audience for his harsh confrontational manner.

Hoffman said that Oliver was "putting him on display" during the panel and that he was unaware that the sexual harassment allegation would be part of the discussion. Oliver said: "I'm not the moral arbiter of anything".

Again, none of these other claims about Hoffman came up during Monday night's panel discussion.

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. "I still don't know who this woman is".

Hoffman rebutted Oliver's questions tersely, saying "First of all, it didn't happen, the way she reported". After graduating from college in 2009, Greene said, she moved to Washington to pursue a life in politics, started interning with a congressman from Oklahoma, was hired full-time, then moved to Farenthold's office in 2013.

"So it feels like a cop-out to say, 'It wasn't me.' Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?"

"I can't leave certain things unaddressed", Oliver said. "The easy way is not to bring anything up". 'Why didn't I say something?

"That's what I hate about the Internet.' But i mean, isn't that why he brought it up?"

It might be unfair to those precious few men who are truly self-reflective upon being called out, but Hoffman's wilting apology is probably more indicative than aberration in our halls of power.