08 December, 2017
In 1985, actress Anna Graham Hunter was an intern on Death of a Salesman and alleges Hoffman groped her.
Needless to say, the Monday night conversation got heated when Oliver pressed Hoffman to answer for the allegations.
"It's hanging in the air?". 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".
While an occasional member of the film's audience may have wanted Oliver to ease up, a vast majority supported him with cheers when he made a good point, and cries of encouragement. Revisiting the internship for the Hollywood Reporter more than 30 years later, Hunter recalled the time she asked Hoffman what he would want for breakfast, and he responded, "I'll have a hard-boiled egg ... and a soft-boiled clitoris".
After Hunter's allegations emerged on November 1, Hoffman issued an apology.
He subsequently put out an apologetic statement saying he felt "terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation".
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". "I never met her. No one said, 'Oh, these girls are 17 years old.' I didn't know they were there".
Later on in the squabble, footage of which was supplied to The Washington Post, Hoffman then challenges Oliver on why he believed the accuser.
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"It's that kind of the response to this stuff that pisses me off", Oliver said. "It is reflective of who you were", Oliver said. There was a period of time when you were creeping around women.
Hoffman maintained he did nothing wrong and complained: "You've put me on display here".
Oliver and Hoffman butted heads over the issue for the remainder of the panel.
"Oh Dustin", Oliver said disapprovingly.
According to The Washington Post, during the talkback Oliver brought up Graham Hunter's allegations, and proceeded to grill the actor on his behavior for the rest of the conversation. Why the...didn't I say something?
"There is a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years", the 80-year-old countered.
"I believe what she wrote, yes", Oliver replied. Unfortunately that leaves me at home later at night hating myself.
The fallout has been massive and immediate as some of the most powerful men in Hollywood have lost jobs and credibility. For his part, Oliver repeatedly apologized to the audience for "ruining" their evening, but explained, "I can't leave certain things unaddressed".