“We want to thank you for confronting Dustin Hoffman,” the group wrote in a statement published on the Twitter account of Anna Graham Hunter, one of Hoffman’s accusers. “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 message is signed by Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas, and two women who remained anonymous.
Earlier this month, Oliver moderated a panel for Tribeca Film Institute celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Wag the Dog,” which starred Hoffman and Robert De Niro. During the conversation, Oliver questioned Hoffman over recent allegations of sexual misconduct made against him. Video of the Q&A surfaced online and drew significant media attention. Since the panel took place, several more women have stepped forward to accuse Hoffman of sexual harassment or assault.
In an interview last week, Oliver — the host of HBO’s “Last Week Tonight” — expressed dissatisfaction with his exchange with Hoffman, telling the “The Russell Howard Hour” in the U.K., “It wasn’t ideal that it became such a big story because then it became about my questions rather than his answers. The questions weren’t particularly remarkable, but his answers were kind of not great.”
In an October letter in the Hollywood Reporter, Hunter, a production assistant on “Death of a Salesman” in 1985, wrote that Hoffman harassed and assaulted her on set when she was 17 years old. The following month, Riss Gatsiounis, now a producer on the National Geographic series “Genius,” told Variety that Hoffman propositioned her during a pitch meeting. Earlier in December, Rossetter wrote in the Hollywood Reporter that Hoffman groped and assaulted her while the two actors worked together on the Broadway production of “Death of a Salesman.” A week later, in a Variety report, Thomas alleged that Hoffman exposed herself to her when she was 16 and Kester said that Hoffman assaulted her while recording music for the film “Ishtar.” In that same report, a woman who asked to remain anonymous accused Hoffman of assaulting her in the back of a station wagon while leaving the Queens, N.Y. set of Ishtar.
See the letter from Hoffman’s accusers below: