On Monday evening, comedian and host of HBO’s Last Week Tonight John Oliver was moderating a panel marking the 20th anniversary of Wag The Dog, the 1997 movie starring Robert De Niro, Anne Heche, and Dustin Hoffman.
But Hoffman’s answer, and the defensive posture he assumed throughout his exchange with Oliver, was incredibly revealing of how the powerful men who have been accused of sexual misconduct – whether in Hollywood, Washington, DC, or elsewhere – actually conduct themselves after their predatory histories are revealed. Like virtually all apologies issued by shitty men, Hoffman’s mea culpa was grossly inadequate.
So much so, that Oliver felt obligated to extract something more substantial from Hoffman on Monday.
“I’m asking my agent, my publicist, what do I do now?'” said Hoffman of his apology, at the very beginning of a video obtained by the Washington Post.
It might be unfair to those precious few men who are truly self-reflective upon being called out, but Hoffman’s wilting apology is probably more indicative than aberration in our halls of power.