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Liam Neeson slammed for defending Dustin Hoffman's alleged sexual misconduct

Liam Neeson is under fire for defending several high-profile men accused of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct and suggesting that there’s “a bit of a witch-hunt happening.”

Appearing on the Irish talk show The Late Late Show, the action star addressed the recent deluge of sexual misconduct allegations against famous men. “There is a bit of a witch hunt happening, too,” the actor said. “There’s some people, famous people, being suddenly accused of touching some girl’s knee or something, and suddenly they’re being dropped from their program or something.”

Neeson went on to speak specifically about the allegations against Garrison Keillor and Dustin Hoffman. Keillor was fired in November from Minnesota Public Radio for “inappropriate behavior,” while Hoffman has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women. Among them is actress Kathryn Rossetter, who alleges Hoffman repeatedly groped her during their 1983 Broadway production of Death of a Salesman.

“The Dustin Hoffman thing, I’m on the fence about that,” Neeson told host Ryan Tubridy. “Because when you’re doing a play and you’re with your family, other actors, technicians, you do silly things. You do silly things and it becomes kind of superstitious; if you don’t do it every night you think it’s going to jinx the show. I think Dustin Hoffman was… I’m not saying I’ve done similar things like what he did. Apparently, he touched another girl’s breast and stuff. But it’s childhood stuff what he was doing.”

Neeson was then cut off by Tubridy, who pointed out that it’s important to have conversations about these issues. Neeson agreed, adding, “There is a movement happening. It’s healthy and it’s across every industry. The focus seems to be on Hollywood at the minute. But it’s across every industry. I’m a Unicef Goodwill Ambassador, and a very proud one. And I get sent facts and figures and stuff. And if you read the stuff I’ve read about how female laborers are being treated in farms, ranches, and all the rest of it, it’s chilling.”

The actor’s comments drew criticism on social media:

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Meryl Streep Says Dustin Hoffman "Overstepped" During Infamous Kramer vs. Kramer Slap Scene

Over the past few months, Hollywood has been hit with wave after wave of disturbing rape and sexual assault claims lauded against some of the movie industry’s biggest players. The repeated claims birthed the #MeToo movement, which Meryl Streep recently opened up about during an interview with The New York Times. The conversation about Hollywood’s toxic history naturally led to the accusations against Streep’s Kramer vs. Kramer costar Dustin Hoffman, who is accused of exposing himself to a minor and assaulting two women. New York Times journalist Cara Buckley specifically asked Streep if she “had problems” with the actor and if he really slapped her during a scene in the pair’s Oscar-winning divorce drama.

“That was when we were making Kramer vs. Kramer. This is tricky because when you’re an actor, you’re in a scene, you have to feel free,” Streep said. “I’m sure that I have inadvertently hurt people in physical scenes. But there’s a certain amount of forgiveness in that. But this was my first movie, and it was my first take in my first movie, and he just slapped me. And you see it in the movie. It was overstepping. But I think those things are being corrected in this moment. And they’re not politically corrected; they’re fixed. They will be fixed, because people won’t accept it anymore. So that’s a good thing.”

Streep’s comment on Hoffman’s behavior comes after a recently resurfaced 1979 interview with Time, in which Streep recalled Hoffman groping her breast the first time they met. Her representative later noted that The Graduate star apologized to Streep, and they settled the matter. Fortunately the Mamma Mia actress has dedicated herself to lifting up the #MeToo movement and helping to stamp out some of the movie industry’s more insidious habits.

“I do think if the world is going to go on, we have to find out a way to work together, and know that it’s better for men if they respect us deeply as equals.”

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Dustin Hoffman accusers thank John Oliver for pressing him on harassment claims

Seven women who have accused Dustin Hoffman of sexual misconduct published a joint letter Wednesday thanking John Oliver for confronting the actor about some of their allegations during a contentious panel discussion earlier this month.

“We want to thank you for confronting Dustin Hoffman,” the women said in the letter, which was first tweeted by actress Anna Graham Hunter. “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. 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.”

Signed by Hunter, Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, Kathryn Rossetter, Melissa Kester, Cori Thomas, and two women who have chosen to remain anonymous, the letter was posted a few days after Oliver said in an interview on Sky One’s The Russell Howard Hour that he “tried and failed” in his conversation with Hoffman.

“It wasn’t ideal but it became such a big story — but it became about my questions rather than his answers,” Oliver said. “The questions weren’t particularly remarkable, but his answers were … not great. That was the point of it. But it didn’t really go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing just made me feel sad.”

Oliver confronted the Oscar-winning actor about allegations of misconduct “hanging in the air” during a 20th-anniversary screening of Wag the Dog, which the Last Week Tonight host moderated. The conversation quickly became heated as Hoffman denied and disputed the allegations and Oliver continued to press him.

In recent weeks, Hoffman, 80, has been accused of a range of impropriety, including groping, inappropriate language, unwanted sexual advances, sexual assault, and exposing himself to a minor. In response to Hunter’s allegations of harassment, Hoffman said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.” Through his attorney, Hoffman told Variety the allegations of sexual assault and exposing himself to a minor were “defamatory falsehoods.”

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John Oliver says he 'tried and failed' in Dustin Hoffman confrontation

John Oliver might be reconsidering the way he confronted Dustin Hoffman about his alleged history of sexual misconduct.

In an interview on Sky One’s The Russell Howard Hour last week, Oliver reflected on his tense series of exchanges with Hoffman from earlier this month, when both were present for a special Wag the Dog 20th anniversary panel discussion. (Oliver served as moderator.) The Last Week Tonight host pressed Hoffman to speak on the sexual misconduct allegations made against him, reasoning that it was “hanging in the air.” Hoffman’s discomfort was quickly visible, as was Oliver’s dissatisfaction with his answers.

Speaking to Howard, however, Oliver said that he “tried and failed” in his conversation with Hoffman and admitted that the back-and-forth did not go as he hoped. “It felt unavoidable and that we had to have a discussion about it,” Oliver explained. “It wasn’t ideal but it became such a big story — but it became about my questions rather than his answers. The questions weren’t particularly remarkable, but his answers were … not great. That was the point of it. But it didn’t really go anywhere constructive, so the whole thing just made me feel sad.”

In November, actress Anna Graham Hunter claimed in a column for The Hollywood Reporter that Hoffman groped her and made inappropriate remarks to her while she interned on the 1985 Death of a Salesman TV film at the age of 17. Wendy Riss Gatsiounis, a producer, subsequently told Variety that the actor propositioned her during a meeting in 1991. Hoffman released a statement to THR following Hunter’s column, saying, “I have the utmost respect for women and feel terrible that anything I might have done could have put her in an uncomfortable situation. I am sorry. It is not reflective of who I am.”

As seen in video first obtained by The Washington Post, Oliver expressed dissatisfaction with Hoffman’s initial response about the allegations made by Hunter at the Wag the Dog panel, in which Hoffman “it didn’t happen the way she reported.” Oliver argued that what Hoffman’s comments on the topic felt “like a dismissal.” Then, after more back and forth, Oliver criticized Hoffman for not showing appropriate contrition. “It feels like dismissals or recontextualizing it is not addressing it: It doesn’t feel self-reflective in the way the incident demands,” Oliver said. “I get no pleasure from having this conversation but you and I are not the victims here.”

While many came to Oliver’s side and praised his willingness to grill Hoffman, others, such as Michael Rapaport and Alec Baldwin, indicated that Oliver interrogated Hoffman inappropriately at a public event.

Oliver explained to Howard that he had planned to confront Hoffman. “I had spoken to the organizers of this event twice before when it was clear he might be there,” he said. “I said, ‘If he is going to be there, I have to ask him about this. I understand you might not want your event to be about this, so you might want to get someone else,’ and they said ‘No, no, we want you to do it.’ Then when he confirmed, I said, ‘I am going to ask him.’ So it was a collision course was set at that point.”

In the weeks since Hoffman’s Wag the Dog panel appearance, the actor has been accused of sexual misconduct by more women. Five people came forward in a recent THR article stressing a pattern of allegedly inappropriate and predatory behavior. In Variety, Hoffman was accused of sexually assaulting two women as well as exposing himself to a minor. Through his attorney, Hoffman called the allegations described in Variety “defamatory falsehoods.”

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Dustin Diamond plays doomed Harvey Weinstein in TENLo's new music video

Screech is his name, though it’s also the sound some viewers may make when they see Dustin Diamond playing Harvey Weinstein in the new music video from rock band TENLo.

The former Saved By the Bell actor transformed into the disgraced Hollywood producer for the group’s single, “Kill All the Things.” Like the title suggests, Diamond’s Weinstein was put to death. After snorting what looks to be cocaine in a hotel bathroom and shooting shots of liquor at the bar, the movie mogul is lured into a hotel room by a nun, played by actress Kelly Cunningham (Badsville).

TENLo’s video, directed by Joshua Mendez, depicts what some women have detailed in accusations against Weinstein. Though, this one has a more vengeful ending. It seems the woman plans to seduce him, but then blood splatters across her face as she repeatedly stabs the man who’s been marred by decades of sexual harassment and assault claims. (Weinstein has denied any claim of nonconsensual sex.)

According to TMZ, which premiered the video, TENLo bandmates Joey Zak and TomE LaBrosse reached out to Diamond about the Weinstein angle for the project. After they got him on board, the sequences were shot in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Watch Diamond as Weinstein in the video above.

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