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Wednesday, December 06, 2017

HBO host John Oliver hammered Dustin Hoffman about allegations of sexual harassment and the actor fired back with a ferocious defense, as a seemingly benign screening became an explosive conversation about Hollywood sexual misconduct on Monday night. "This is something we're going to have to talk about because ... it's hanging in the air," Oliver said to Hoffman at the discussion, an anniversary screening of the film Wag the Dog. He was alluding to an allegation made by Anna Graham Hunter last month that Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate comments when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of the 1985 TV movie "Death of a Salesman." "It's hanging in the air?" Hoffman said. "From a few things you've read, you've made an incredible assumption about me," he noted, adding sarcastically, "You've made the case better than anyone else can. I'm guilty."

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About halfway through the hour-long talk, Oliver brought up the issue to Hoffman, saying he found the actor's statements about the matter wanting. Nearly the entire rest of the discussion was then dominated by Oliver, Hoffman and the subject of sexual harassment.

Hoffman had offered a conditional apology at the time of the allegation, and on Monday he underscored an "if" included in that statement, noting several times that he didn't really believe he had done anything wrong. He said that he had not engaged in groping, that he didn't recall meeting Graham Hunter and that all his comments on set were simply how members of "a family" talked to one another.

"I still don't know who this woman is," Hoffman said. "I never met her; if I met her, it was in concert with other people."

Oliver dismissed that as insufficient, then cited Hoffman's response at the time of the allegation that the actor's behavior on set was "not reflective of" who he really is.

"It's 'not reflective of who I am' -- it's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off," Oliver said. "It is reflective of who you were. If you've given no evidence to show it didn't [happen] then there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say 'It wasn't me.' Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?"

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disrupt

#1 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-12-05 10:53 PM | Reply

I have watched the scandals play out but even I, as a liberal, do think waiting 40 years to make an accusation is sort of ridiculous. And, I'm sorry to say it to my liberal friends, that goes for Judge Roy Moore too.

#2 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-06 09:54 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

I have watched the scandals play out but even I, as a liberal, do think waiting 40 years to make an accusation is sort of ridiculous. And, I'm sorry to say it to my liberal friends, that goes for Judge Roy Moore too.

#3 | Posted by danni

Roy Moore is attempting to take a position of power where his mental issues could risk lives or harm people. It's not unreasonable for someone who stayed quiet about what he did to them long ago feel like it's their responsibility to warn the nation about what kind of man they are putting in power.

#4 | Posted by SpeakSoftly at 2017-12-06 01:43 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2


I am happy that Mr Oliver is finally pulling aside the curtain on this issue.

I now wonder how many others will be cancelling and/or refusing to book interviews when interviewers are getting bolder about asking the difficult questions.

I also wonder at what point will the pendulum swing too far.

#5 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-06 01:48 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Oliver is a grandstanding twit but Hoffman was trying to have it both ways. Either deny or apologize but don't try to BS us with both.

#6 | Posted by Sully at 2017-12-06 01:50 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1


@#6 ...Oliver is a grandstanding twit ...

... with a reasonably good sense of when to grandstand, and some neurons to back it up.

But yes. :)

#7 | Posted by LampLighter at 2017-12-06 01:54 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

#7 - yes he's smart and picks his battled well

#8 | Posted by Sully at 2017-12-06 02:02 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"If you've given no evidence to show it didn't [happen] then there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women.

----

There's so much wrong with that statement.

#9 | Posted by Pirate at 2017-12-06 02:23 PM | Reply

Here's the thing about the allegations by this woman on Hoffman...

- She was 17 at the time.
- She wrote letters home about the events and told others at the time.
- She kept a journal.
- She brought it to the attention of superiors and was dismissed.

Did she make it all up? No I seriously doubt it. Could he have been joking around? Sure he MIGHT have. Was it innocent? I am going with no. I'm not sure if this was during the time he was a substance abuser or not but he definitely could have done it without a second thought while under the influence...

You wonder why it took 40 years to come back up? Look folks these are POWERFUL people and these women are often somewhat at their mercy. It is very easy to see how they were intimidated into silence - ESPECIALLY very young women. Do you have any idea how many child abusers get away with it? Your word vs someone famous and/or powerful? ESPECIALLY 40 years ago? Who do you think would be believed? Time and again it wasn't accusers. Look at Corey Feldman - he has been talking for years and even the police dismissed him. So I can see why they would choose to move on and leave it in the past at the time. I can also see why it would feel like an appropriate time to bring it up. People like this woman are believable. I certainly can't say all the claims are credible but I am fairly certain most are.

And I am sorry Danni but I don't agree with you on this matter. Most of those being accused have carried a reputation for years if not decades. Things whispered by those around them but nobody with the guts to confront them. Roy Moore is one of those people. Hell he was banned from the mall because he was a perv. Over 30 and molesting a 14 year old girl? People like Roy Moore belong deserve a jail stay.

#10 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2017-12-06 03:00 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

#3 perhaps, and i believe it, the watershed (#metoo) has given these prisoners of secrets courage.
whether it's 10 or 80 years later, the sharing personal (once criminal) truth is... releasing, justified, ... righteous, no?

#11 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-12-06 06:05 PM | Reply

I have watched the scandals play out but even I, as a liberal, do think waiting 40 years to make an accusation is sort of ridiculous.

I disagree, particularly when the woman was a child when the sexual harassment or rape occurred.

I know victims of child sex abuse. It is an incredibly brave act to come forward whenever you do it.

Dustin Hoffman was a grown-ass man in his 40s when he was sexually harassing the teen intern on his movie set. He knew better and should answer for it, even if it's 40 years later, and even if his behavior is less egregious than what Harvey Weinstein, Louis CK and others did.

Men know what they're doing when they harass or abuse women in the workplace for sexual gratification. They know it's wrong and do it anyway. We shouldn't give them a pass if their victims took a long time to say anything. Most of them stay silent because they don't think they will be believed.

#12 | Posted by rcade at 2017-12-06 06:37 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Oliver is a grandstanding twit ...

If that was a planned stunt, he did it really well.

The press reports say that Oliver tried several times to move on to another subject but Hoffman kept going back to it.

#13 | Posted by rcade at 2017-12-06 06:38 PM | Reply

#10
a virtual societal norm. and the abusive conduct therein changes by region.
exhibit A: Moore's recent spokesman who said he himself, apparently, ask "their mommas" -- if you look at his entire statement, he indicates clearly that he (the spokesman) only asks, these "dates" with young girls, their age AFTER he's asked "their momma."

i have conflicting thoughts: one moral philosophy, one which invokes liberty and freedom, is the Libertarian approach: where every child is the property of its parent; it seems the same is also a Religious approach in some if not many cases.

certainly there are pockets of the US where all kinds of similar activity is and historically happens, outlawed as it may or may not be by the same people "committing" it.

--drd

#14 | Posted by ichiro at 2017-12-06 07:33 PM | Reply

"Look at Corey Feldman - he has been talking for years and even the police dismissed him."

Not any more:

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office finds audio files of 1993 interview with Corey Feldman

www.cbsnews.com

#15 | Posted by Gal_Tuesday at 2017-12-06 09:21 PM | Reply

#2 | POSTED BY DANNI AT 2017-12-06 09:54 AM

If you can't distinguish the difference of influence between a politician at the federal level and an actor/movie maker, you're sorely out of touch.

Tell me, what could Dustin Hoffman do that would affect your life? Now consider what Roy Moore could do that would affect your life should he be elected to the Senate. You, even as a liberal, should be able to identify which is more significant.

If you can't, you're a lost cause.

#16 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-12-06 09:31 PM | Reply

Most of them stay silent because they don't think they will be believed.
#12 | POSTED BY RCADE

Or that anyone would care! Think of the Trump apologists: "Oh, just locker room banter!" That was 2016. Try and remember what it was like 40, 30, 20, or even 10 years ago.

There's a reason this "movement" is as big as it is. There's a reason #MeToo was necessary: many women didn't feel anyone CARED until now.

#17 | Posted by rstybeach11 at 2017-12-06 09:39 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

"You, even as a liberal, should be able to identify which is more significant."

I understand what you are saying but this is beginning to look a lot like McCarthyism. Dredging up sins from decades ago and ruining the lives of people who have lived honorably for decades and thereby preventing them from doing the good that they are trying to accomplish today without a court hearing, charges not made under oath, America is regret our present reversion to Puritanism. And remember this always, "let ye who is without sin cast the first stone." Just in Congress alone we have many sinners who happily cheer for the resignation of Franken while remaining members of the Republican Party as they financially support Roy Moore. For crying out loud, our President admitted on the air that he did worse things than Franken ever thought of doing and our news media doesn't even talk about the irony of a Franken resignation. It's simply ridiculous and I do not want anyone to think I am a part of this incredibly stupid inquisition.

#18 | Posted by danni at 2017-12-07 08:23 AM | Reply

Oliver is America's greatest political educator and analyst. But in this case he's gone over the top, without really knowing whether Hoffman was entirely out of line in an industry which teaches people to touch and kiss a lot, or whether Ms. Hunter felt her space was being obtrusively invaded. Forty years is a long time, these opinions are a product of our cultural upbringing, which vary wildly. Is it possible for men and women to reach the mating stage without offending some women? I say no. It is a risk of reaching adulthood, just as being embarrassed by rejection. This acknowledgement of some behaviors should not be confused with the rape behavior of Cosby, Trump or Moore, which is rightly illegal. If you feel your space is violated, smack him, and end it there.

#19 | Posted by bayviking at 2017-12-07 09:17 AM | Reply

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