John Oliver on Why He Confronted Dustin Hoffman About Sexual Assault Allegations

“I was surprised that he showed up in the first place”

John Oliver has explained his decision to publicly confront Dustin Hoffman about the sexual misconduct allegations against him, saying he was stunned the actor even showed his face.

“I was surprised that he showed up in the first place,” Oliver said at a press event to promote the upcoming return of “Last Week Tonight,” according to the Daily Beast.

Oliver broached the subject of the allegations against Hoffman during a live panel he was moderating in celebration of the 20th anniversary of “Wag the Dog.” “This is something we’re going to have to talk about because … it’s hanging in the air,” he explained at the time.

Broaching the topic with Hoffman seemed like a given considering the Q&A, Oliver said, “was about ‘Wag the Dog,’ a story about burying sexual harassment and the power that comes with that. So it seemed to me very, very weird not to bring it up.”

“It felt like he should’ve been aware that he was going to have to answer to this the next time he answered anything,” he continued. “I’m staggered if he honestly thought I wouldn’t bring it up. I don’t know how little he would have to think of me to think I wouldn’t bring that up. That’s pretty insulting.”

Hoffman was first accused in a guest column by Anna Graham Hunter for The Hollywood Reporter last month. In her piece, she accused Hoffman of attempting to grope her multiple times when she was just 17. In the weeks that followed, Hoffman was accused by eight more women of sexual misconduct.

“I have to believe that most people would have asked him about it,” Oliver said. “Then the only reason the conversation kept going was because his responses were pretty bad. I want to try to get him to a point of self-reflection, to try to get something out of the conversation at all, but that didn’t happen. I don’t think there was anything particularly remarkable about what I was asking. I think a lot of things were pretty dispiriting about how he was responding.”