Seven women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct issued a statement Wednesday thanking comedian John Oliver for grilling the actor over his alleged behavior during a panel earlier this month.
“We want to thank you for confronting Dustin Hoffman,” the women wrote in a statement posted on Twitter by one of Hoffman’s accuser’s Anna Graham Hunter. “While the questions you asked may not have led to the constructive conversation you hoped for, the fact that you asked them all is what matters most. Many men listen to and believe women when we recount our experiences of sexual harassment and assault. But few men put themselves at risk — socially or professionally — to have uncomfortable conversations with other men. Women can continue to tell our stories, but ultimately, change will depend on men reflecting on their own behavior and challenging other men to do the same.”
The statement — signed by Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas, and two women unnamed accusers — came just one day after Oliver expressed disappointment in his confrontation with Hoffman, saying that he “tried and failed.”
“It wasn’t ideal that it became such a big story because then it became about my questions rather than his answers,” Oliver said in an interview on Sky One’s “The Russell Howard Hour” last week. “The questions weren’t particularly remarkable, but his answers were kind of not great.”
Oliver was hosting a panel marking the 20th anniversary of 1997 film “Wag The Dog” when he grilled Hoffman over the sexual misconduct allegations that have surfaced in recent weeks.
At one point, Oliver criticized Hoffman for his apology, calling it a “cop-out.”
“It’s ‘not reflective of who I am’ — it’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” Oliver said referring to Hoffman’s initial statement about the accusations. “It is reflective of who you were,” Oliver wanton to say. “If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t [happen] then there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say, ‘It wasn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”
Hoffman, who has denied any wrongdoing, asked Oliver if he believed the accusations, to which Oliver said: “Yes because there’s no point in her lying.”
Since the event, several other women have come forward accusing Hoffman of sexual assault.
In October, Hunter wrote an essay published in the Hollywood Reporter, alleging that in 1985 Hoffman harassed and assaulted her on set when she was 17 years old.
Riss Gatsiounis told Variety that Hoffman propositioned her during a pitch meeting.
Rosette, also in a letter to the Hollywood Reporter, said that Hoffman groped and assaulted her during a Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman.”
Earlier this month, Thomas accused Hoffman of exposing himself to her when she was 16.
And Lester accused Hoffman of assaulting her during a music recording session for the movie “Ishtar.”
Reps for Hoffman did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on this story, but Hoffman’s attorney Mark A. Neubauer said in a letter to Variety’s owner Penske Media Corp. that the accusations were “defamatory falsehoods.”
See the letter from Hoffman’s accusers below:
Thank you @iamjohnoliver for confronting Dustin Hoffman. While the questions you asked may not have led to the constructive conversation you hoped for, the fact that you asked them at all is what matters most. @nykass @corithyme @MelissaKester + 3 others pic.twitter.com/WeenZP5jck
— Anna Graham Hunter (@annaghunter) December 27, 2017