John Oliver admits Dustin Hoffman confrontation 'made me feel sad'
WATCH John Oliver confronts Dustin Hoffman on allegations
John Oliver was lauded in some quarters earlier this month for confronting Dustin Hoffman about allegations of sexual harassment made against him, but to the "Last Week Tonight" host, the conversation was a bit of a failure.
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In a new interview with British comedian Russell Howard, Oliver said that he'd planned ahead of time to have the discussion with Hoffman, but it fell short of his expectations.
The HBO late-night star also said that he was disappointed that headlines about the interchange between him and Hoffman at a Dec. 4 panel discussion in New York City focused more on his questions, which he described as "not particularly remarkable," and less on Hoffman's "not great" answers.
"It didn't really go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing just made me feel sad," Oliver said in the interview on "The Russell Howard Hour" on SkyOne TV. "I just wanted it to become something more constructive, but it was clear pretty early on that was not going to happen. [But] I did try. I tried and failed."
John Oliver challenges Dustin Hoffman on his response to sexual harassment allegations Dustin Hoffman apologizes for any inappropriate behavior alleged by past intern
Hoffman, 80, has been accused of misconduct by several women, including Anna Graham Hunter, who alleged that when she was a 17-year old intern on the set of Hoffman's television film, "Death of a Salesman," the Oscar winner questioned her about her sex life and, on more than one occasion, grabbed her backside. Hoffman apologized for "anything I might have done" at that time.
"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," he said in a statement at the time.
The confrontation between Oliver, 40, and Hoffman occurred at a panel at an anniversary screening of the film “Wag the Dog" about a month or so after the first allegations against Hoffman were made.
The comedian told Hoffman that he wanted to address the accusations because they were "hanging in the air," though the actor brushed him off, accusing Oliver of making "an incredible assumption about me." Oliver continued to press Hoffman, however, and criticized his mea culpa by calling it "a cop-out" and "a dismissal." Hoffman, however, said that Oliver was close-minded and accused him of "putting me on display."
"I felt it was unavoidable," Oliver told Howard of the interchange. "I felt like I had to bring it up."