Early in November, Dustin Hoffman was accused by two separate women of sexual harassment dating back to 1985 and 1991 — a teenage intern on the TV movie, Death of a Salesman, and a 20-something playwright, respectively. Not much came of the allegations, despite the fact that there had been reports of Hoffman’s unprofessional on-set behavior towards women in the past. As such, while hosting a 20th Anniversary screening of Wag The Dog hosted by the Tribeca Institute in New York City on Monday night, John Oliver took it on to himself to call Hoffman out on the rumors.
“This is something we’re going to have to talk about because…it’s hanging in the air,” Oliver said, before grilling Hoffman in what Washington Post reporter Steven Zeitchik later called a “testy five minute” exchange. At one point, when Hoffman had apparently grown visibly uncomfortable he said to Oliver, “you weren’t there,” to which the Last Week Tonight host replied, “I’m happy I wasn’t.”
The response of the crowd was said to have been mixed, with at least one woman yelling at Oliver to drop the subject, while many others cheered. “Thank you for believing women,” shouted another. Likewise, the response on social media has been decidedly pro-Oliver, as many took to Twitter to thank him for his candor.
John Oliver isn’t the feminist hero we deserved, but he’s the feminist hero we needed.
— Holly O’Reilly (@AynRandPaulRyan) December 5, 2017
You did a good thing @iamjohnoliver. And I liked Dusty. You heard me, I said “Dusty.” He’s an acting legend, not infallible. Doesn’t get or need a pass. KG
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) December 5, 2017
A lot has been said about how uncomfortable Dustin Hoffman was during this. But the crucial point is – so was John Oliver. If a powerful man challenging another is difficult – how much more so for women?http://t.co/KvpLrEUpF6
— Kirsty Strickland (@KirstyStricklan) December 5, 2017
John Oliver is a national treasure. http://t.co/Am7DGl1Zsi
— Erick Fernandez (@ErickFernandez) December 5, 2017
Even if John Oliver was out of line in his questioning of Dustin Hoffman, I couldn’t care less. Oliver did something more men need to do: He demanded answers and didn’t turn a blind eye to sexual assault accusations.
— shannon (@attilathehoneyb) December 5, 2017
John Oliver did what most men have not done in Hollywood last night—he grilled Dustin Hoffman about his sexual harassment allegations in publichttp://t.co/eHLJ8Oqwzv
— Ira Madison III (@ira) December 5, 2017
John Oliver laid into Dustin Hoffman at a promotional panel last night. Good to see that there’s someone among the Hollywood-types who’s willing to call out the bullshit.
— Princess Beatrice of NY (@BeatriceofNY) December 5, 2017
The response largely indicates that we’re now living in a time when men will no longer get a pass for this sort of behavior.
(Via Washington Post)
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