After John Oliver expressed regret over the response to how he questioned Dustin Hoffman on the actor’s alleged history of sexual misconduct, the women who made the allegations thanked the comedian and HBO host, writing in a letter on Wednesday that they appreciated Oliver’s attempt and noted how more men should publicly grapple with and reflect on the issue.
Writer Anna Graham Hunter, one of Hoffman’s accusers, posted the letter on Twitter on behalf of the multiple other women who have accused the veteran actor of sexual harassment or assault, including groping and making sexual comments.
“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,” the women wrote. “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.”
Last week, Oliver defended his decision to ask Hoffman about the allegations while moderating a panel event featuring the actor, saying the confrontation earlier this month was “unavoidable.”
But the HBO host said that he regretted that the conversation “didn’t really go anywhere constructive,” as Hoffman gave defensive answers and some audience members objected to Oliver’s questioning.
“I tried and failed,” Oliver said last week. “His answers were kind of not great, so that was really the point of it. But it didn’t really go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing just made me feel sad.”