Last Week Tonight host John Oliver grilled Dustin Hoffman on Monday night over recent allegations of sexual harassment.
Washington Post reporter Steven Zeitchik caught the exchange on video.
“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said to Hoffman at an anniversary screening of the film Wag the Dog, referring to recent sexual harassment and sexual assault accusations.
Last month, actress Anna Graham Hunter accused Hoffman of groping her and making inappropriate comments while she interned on the set of the 1985 TV movie Death of a Salesman. Hunter was 17 at the time.
“It’s hanging in the air?” Hoffman said. “From a few things you’ve read, you’ve made an incredible assumption about me,” adding sarcastically, “You’ve made the case better than anyone else can. I’m guilty.”
Hoffman continued to deny that he knew Hunter.
“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 took umbrage with Hoffman’s statement that his 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?”
Hoffman later asked Oliver about the woman’s account of the 1985 incident, saying, “Do you believe this stuff that you read?”
“I believe what she wrote, yes,” Oliver responded. “Because there’s no point in her lying.”
“Well, there is a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years,” Hoffman said of the 32-year-old incident.
The discussion was largely calm and cordial, though one person in the audience yelled at Oliver to “Move on. Let it go,” the Washington Post reported. That person was drowned out by others, including one who said, “Shame on you,” the Post reported. Another said, “Thank you for believing women.”
Reuters contributed to this report.