John Oliver confronted Dustin Hoffman about the allegations of sexual harassment dogging him in a tense face off that lasted about 30 minutes on Monday night.
The HBO host, who was moderating a 20th anniversary screening of “Wag the Dog” at the 92nd Street Y on Monday night, called Hoffman’s public apology last month a “cop out” while the actor repeatedly denied the allegations against him, the Washington Post reported.
Last month, former intern Anna Graham Hunter claimed the actor made lewd comments and groped her on the set of the 1986 film “Death of a Salesman.”
Hoffman responded with a statement at the time that read, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”
Oliver didn’t hold back when he slammed the actor’s public apology on Monday, saying, “It’s ‘not reflective of who I am.’ It’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off.”
“It is reflective of who you were. If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t [happen,] there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women,” Oliver added. “It feels like a cop-out to say ‘it wasn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”
When the 80-year-old actor said, “You weren’t there,” Oliver drew gasps from the crowd when he shot back with, “I’m glad [I wasn’t].”
Hoffman, who returned to the tense subject several times during the panel discussion, adamantly denied groping Graham Hunter and said he didn’t even remember meeting her.
He also discredited his accuser and blamed Oliver for making an “incredible assumption” of his guilt.
At one point, he asked Oliver, “Do you believe this stuff you read?”
When Oliver responded, saying, “Yes. Because there’s no point in [an accuser] lying,” Hoffman said, “Well, there’s a point in her not bringing it up for 40 years.”