John Oliver just went after Dustin Hoffman big time on sexual harassment at this Wag The Dog panel. Hoffman grew visibly uncomfortable. “You weren’t there,” he says to Oliver. “I’m happy I wasn’t,” Oliver replied.— Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikWaPo) December 5, 2017
All hell has now broken loose on this Wag Dog panel. The subject seemed over after seven minutes but Hoffman brought it up again, saying Oliver is not keeping an “open mind” and is unquestionably believing accusers, and a testy five minutes followed. — Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikWaPo) December 5, 2017
And now the _ audience _ is arguing volubly back and forth about whether Hoffman is upstanding and Oliver should be asking the questions. Not sure I’ve ever seen anything like it at a screening panel. — Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikWaPo) December 5, 2017
Oliver just asked people to stop recording his argument with Hoffman on their phone. “That’s what I hate about the Internet.” But i mean, isn’t that why he brought it up? To have a public conversation? — Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikWaPo) December 5, 2017
CBS reporter Laura Podesta snuck a photo of the panel and Hoffman accused Oliver of making an “incredible assumption” about him.
Oliver cited Hoffman’s response to an accuser that his behavior on set was “not reflective” of who Hoffman is. “It’s that kind of statement that pisses me off,” Oliver said. “It’s ‘not reflective of who I am.’ But it IS reflective of who you were.” — Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikWaPo) December 5, 2017
This photo was taken before #92Y panel discussion got v heated; John Oliver asked Dustin Hoffman about the sexual assault allegations against him… Hoffman denied knowing the woman. pic.twitter.com/xihbNt50fM — Laura Podesta (@LauraPodestaTV) December 5, 2017
In a report from Deadline, there were mixed reactions from the audience.
“You’ve made this incredible assumption about me, sir.” Hoffman said to Oliver. Oliver says it’s something he had to bring it up before we watch the film #wagthedog — Laura Podesta (@LauraPodestaTV) December 5, 2017
The audience seemed divided — some in the well-heeled crowd, who had forked over hundreds of dollars to spend the night re-living a Clintonian satire, took offense at Oliver staying on the issue. “Move on!” one person shouted. “He thinks it’s funny,” sputtered one man as he escorted his wife out of the theatre. Others applauded when Oliver expressed his view. “Thank you for believing women!” one woman called out.[image via Laura Podesta]