Oliver was moderating a pre-screening panel discussion about the 20th anniversary of the film "Wag the Dog" when he asked Hoffman about allegations that he groped a 17-year-old intern on the set of a 1985 movie.
Hoffman responded to the story, saying, "I have the utmost respect for women and feel bad that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation".
"It's "not reflective of who I am" - it's that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off", Oliver said.
Hoffman asked Oliver replied: "Yes".
Steven Zeitchik in The Washington post mentioned "All hell has now broken loose on this Wag The Dog panel".
As Hoffman whined about feeling blindsided and continued to insist that the behavior in question - if it happened at all - wasn't "reflective of who [he is] today", Oliver refused to let him squirm away from the hard truth. "It is reflective of who you were. Then there was a period of time for awhile when you were creeping around women". "It feels like a cop-out to say, 'Well, this isn't me.' Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?"'
"The subject seemed over after seven minutes but Hoffman brought it up again, saying Oliver is not keeping an "open mind" and is unquestionably believing accusers, and a testy five minutes followed".
Hoffman replied: "It's hanging in the air?" Everyone was saying it to each other. Hoffman said. "From a few things you've read, you've made an incredible assumption about me", he noted, adding sarcastically, "You've made the case better than anyone else can". I said a stupid thing, but I said it in the midst of the crew, and they said their stupid things. "But that's 40 years ago". Does that mean it's okay because family members love one another unconditionally, so it doesn't matter what you say?
"What response do you want?" asks Hoffman. 'Why the ... didn't I say something? - Hoffman "It doesn't seem self-reflective in the way the situation demands".
"You've made one statement in print..."
"You also have the way men and women worked together [in the past]; you are in a situation where 'that was then, this is now, '" Rosenthal said. Another yelled to Oliver, "Thank you for believing women", to loud cheers.
"I believe what she wrote, yes".
Right. There's no reason for her to lie about it, but there sure is a reason for Hoffman and others to call her a liar, isn't there?
"I still don't know who this woman is", Hoffman said. She was soon drowned out by other people, one of whom said "Shame on you". One morning I went to his dressing room to take his breakfast order; he looked at me and grinned, taking his time. It was nothing to him, and therefore he thought she was overreacting.
According to a report in The Washington Post, Oliver said that he was going to discuss the changing climate in the entertainment industry, where many powerful figures have faced precipitous consequences as accounts of their sexual misdeeds have been brought to light.
The auditorium erupted in applause.