[Rushtalk] WATCH: John Oliver Shocks Audience By Grilling Dustin Hoffman Over Allegations

C JUNO cwsiv at juno.com
Mon Dec 18 15:10:12 MST 2017

WATCH: John Oliver Shocks Audience By Grilling Dustin Hoffman Over

"It's that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off."

Dustin Hoffman attends the 2017 IFP Gotham Awards at Cipriani Wall
Street on November 27, 2017 in New York City.Roy Rochlin/FilmMagic 
ByJames Barrett
December 5, 2017 
In a painfully uncomfortable exchange during a panel discussion Monday
night, "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver relentlessly questioned
actor Dustin Hoffman over allegations of past sexual harassment — an
exchange that grew so tense, audience members were gasping in disbelief.

The exchange took place during a panel discussion at the Tribeca
Institute's 20th anniversary of Hoffman's film "Wag the Dog" (video
below). Oliver led into the increasingly uncomfortable discussion by
citing the allegations "hanging in the air" that he said must be

"This is something we're going to have to talk about because ... it's
hanging in the air," said Oliver.

Oliver was referencing accusations by Anna Graham-Hunter that Hoffman
sexually harassed her back in 1985 when she was a 17-year-old production
assistant on the set of "Death of a Salesman" and by producer Wendy Riss
Gatsiounis that Hoffman propositioned her in 1991 when she was in her

As The Independent and The Washington Post highlight, the audience was
shocked — a video recording of the exchange catching the stunned
response from the crowd as Oliver continued to hammer the issue and
Hoffman attempted to defend himself.

In his initial response to Graham-Hunter's allegations, Hoffman said he
felt "terrible" that anything he did "could have put her in an
uncomfortable situation," but insisted, "It is not reflective of who I

On Monday, Oliver slammed Hoffman's response, particularly his last

"It's that part of the response to this stuff that pisses me off,"
Oliver stated, audience members gasping. "It is reflective of who you
were. You've given no evidence to show that it didn't happen. There was
a period of time when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a
cop-out to say, 'Well, this isn’t me.' Do you understand how that feels
like a dismissal?"

Hoffman countered by stressing that Oliver was not there when the
incidents took place, so he did not have the full context to make a

"You weren't there," said Hoffman, to which Oliver fired back, "I'm
happy I wasn't."

When Hoffman asked Oliver if he simply believed all of the allegations
against him, Oliver said yes, saying he can't see "a point" in the
accusers lying about the incidents.

"Well, there's a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years," said


In a piece published by The Hollywood Reporter on November 1,
Graham-Hunter accused Hoffman of sexually harassing her when she was a

        This is a story I've told so often I'm sometimes surprised when
        someone I know hasn't heard it. It begins, "Dustin Hoffman
        sexually harassed me when I was 17." Then I give the details:
        When I was a senior in high school in New York City, interning
        as a production assistant on the set of the Death of a Salesman
        TV film, he asked me to give him a foot massage my first day on
        set; I did. He was openly flirtatious, he grabbed my ass, he
        talked about sex to me and in front of me. One morning I went to
        his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me
        and grinned, taking his time. Then he said, "I'll have a
        hard-boiled egg … and a soft-boiled clitoris." His entourage
        burst out laughing. I left, speechless. Then I went to the
        bathroom and cried.

On the same day, Variety published the allegations of "Genius" producer
Wendy Riss Gatsiounis:

        Wendy Riss Gatsiounis was a struggling playwright working a temp
        job in New York City in 1991 when she got what she hoped would
        be her big break. Her play “A Darker Purpose” had been given a
        staged reading at the Public Theater, and she had scheduled a
        meeting with Dustin Hoffman and “Tootsie” screenwriter Murray
        Schisgal to discuss adapting it into a feature film for Hoffman
        to star in. “It was a huge thing,” she told Variety.
        But, Riss Gatsiounis said, the two meetings that took place at
        the Rockefeller Center office of Hoffman’s Punch Productions led
        to confusion and self-doubt after Hoffman allegedly
        propositioned her and attempted to persuade her to leave the
        office and accompany him to a store in a nearby hotel. Riss
        Gatsiounis was in her 20s; Hoffman was 53.

In a statement that day issued in response to Graham-Hunter's
allegation, Hoffman, now 80, apologized for his behavior.

"I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I
might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation," he
said in a statement. "I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am."

Partial transcript via The Independent.


We Say GoodBye To Sally Fields
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