According to numerous reports emerging Stateside, a commemorative screening of 1997 film, Wag the Dog, acted as a catalyst for a very heated debate between veteran actor, Dustin Hoffman, and HBO host, John Oliver.
Hoffman apologised for "anything I might have done to have put [Anna Graham Hunter] in an uncomfortable situation" after she alleged he used sexual language towards her and groped her bottom on the set of Death Of A Salesman in 1985, when she was 17.
Responding to the remark, Hoffman said: "It's hanging in the air?" Later, Hoffman said to Oliver, "You weren't there", to which Oliver replied, "I'm happy I wasn't".
"You've made one statement in print..."
Of Hoffman's apology, Oliver added that he took umbrage with the actor's claim the alleged incident is "not reflective of who I am".
Hoffman's full statement at the time of Graham Hunter's allegations: I have the utmost respect for women and feel bad that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. Specifically, with regards to Hunter's claims, he added, "I still don't know who this woman is". She claimed Hoffman groped her and "talked about sex to me and in front of me".
"It's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off", John said. "Because what can seem completely fine or normal to a certain group of people can have victims at the other end of it" Oliver said. He then stated that he only offered the apology on his representatives' advice, and was ultimately misconstrued, saying it wasn't reflective of who he is. "It is reflective of who you were".
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"It feels like a cop-out to say, 'this isn't me.'" John argued.
The hour-long session ended shortly after, as the two were unable to move past the issue.
Hoffman said that Oliver was "putting him on display" during the panel and that he was unaware that the sexual harassment allegation would be part of the discussion.
"That you go by a couple of things you read". Then he said, 'I'll have a hard-boiled egg ... and a soft-boiled clitoris.' His entourage burst out laughing.
"It's not for me to say".
"Yes", Oliver replied. "Because there's no point in [an accuser] lying". "You have indicted me". "The easy way is not to bring anything up".
One of the worst moments, as you can watch in the video below, shows Hoffman questioning why someone would wait 40 years to say something after Oliver notes that there's basically no upside for the accusers in these situations.
"Well, I'm trying harder than you are", Hoffman said.