Published: Wed, December 27, 2017
Culture&Arts | By Laurence Reese

John Oliver regrets 'failed' Hoffman confrontation

John Oliver regrets 'failed' Hoffman confrontation

John Oliver has spoken out about his now-famous confrontation with Dustin Hoffman, saying that he has some regrets about the encounter and is sorry that he sucked up a lot of the focus on sexual assault allegations in Hollywood.

During an interview on United Kingdom talk show, The Russell Howard Hour, Oliver told host Russell Howard that his verbal spat with the Hoffman, who has been accused of sexual misconduct, "didn't go anywhere constructive". Read the full article here.

The HBO's comedy news satire talk show Last Week Tonight With John Oliver host also said he was disappointed that headlines about the interchange between the comedian and actor Hoffman panel discussion on December 4 in New York City focused more on his questions, which the late-night HBO star described as "not particularly remarkable", and less on actor's "not great" replies. "It didn't really go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing made me feel sad", Oliver said, adding, "I tried and failed".

"It wasn't ideal that it became such a big story - but it became about my questions rather than his answers". That was the point of it. "I just wanted it to become something more constructive". If it happened - and 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. "I felt it was unavoidable", he said.

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In spite of Oliver trying to steer the conversation into a productive direction, the comedian said he "tried and failed".

"I said, 'If he is going to be there, I have to ask him about this". During the conversation with a visibly uncomfortable Hoffman, Oliver asked direct and practical questions.

The Q&A, which preceded a 20th anniversary screening of Wag the Dog, featured director Barry Levinson, producer Jane Rosenthal and co-star Robert De Niro, but soon devolved into a one-on-one showdown between Oliver and Hoffman.

Oliver said that he did speak with the event organizers at least twice before the event, telling them that he was going to address the allegations.

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Oliver told Howard of the interchange between him and Hoffman, "I felt it was unavoidable". Hoffman himself might not have known they were coming, but the organizers of the panel did. Hoffman then complained, "You've put me on display here".

"Do you believe this stuff that you're reading?"

Hoffman was at that time married to wife Lisa Hoffman (née Gottsegen), they married in 1980 and they are still together.

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