Some people might watch this video and think, “Wow. That was incredibly awkward,” but I think it’s incredibly entertaining. ‘Last Week Tonight‘ host John Oliver was moderating a 20th anniversary screening panel for Wag the Dog on behalf of the Tribeca Institute. The panel included Dustin Hoffman, producer Jane Rosenthal and director Barry Levinson.
For those who don’t know, Wag the Dog, was a “political spoof in which campaign advisers fabricate a war to cover up a presidential sex scandal,” so Oliver figured it would be appropriate to talk about the sexual harassment allegations against Hoffman.
Oliver said the allegations made by writer Anna Graham Hunter were “hanging in the air.” Hunter claims that Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate remarks to her when she was a teenage intern on a movie set in the 1980s. Another woman named Wendy Riss Gatsiounis told Variety that the 80-year-old actor propositioned her during a meeting in 1991.
After Hunter’s claims went public, Hoffman sent out a statement saying, “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.”
But when Oliver brought up the accusations during the panel, Hoffman claimed he didn’t even remember the woman, “I still don’t know who this woman is. I never met her; if I met her it was in concert with other people.”
And that’s when Oliver really went in. He pointed out weak the original apology was…
“‘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] 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?”
This led to a long argument between Hoffman and Oliver. Some people in the crowd cheered for Oliver, while others yelled at him to “let it go.”
The best line came when Hoffman told Oliver to have an open mind, stating, “You weren’t there [on set,]” to which Oliver replied, “I’m glad [I wasn’t].”