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.