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Oliver Interviews Hoffman: Sexual Harassment Then And Now

Several years ago my wife and I visited historic Williamsburg, Va. While there we attended a witch trial which is highly entertaining as well as educational. They tell you that when making your decision that you have to think in terms of the 1600’s as you can’t apply today’s standards to then since people thought differently then.

The same holds true for many of these sexual harassment charges coming out today. Many of these charges are from things that were said and done 40 or 50 years ago. People said and thought things differently then. At that time the baby boomer generation (my generation) was at full maturity and one of the most popular sayings was “if it feels good do it.” Ours was a very free generation and pretty much did what we wanted within the laws of course and sometimes innocently ventured out of the law. I think today’s harassment charges are returning to bite us in the rear end.  Society today has become very stringent ruled by Political Correctness which is the government telling you what to say and what to do and when to say it and when to do it. Well nobody tells me what to say and what to do and when to say it and when to do it.

Recently, John Oliver interviewed actor Dustin Hoffman in a heated discussion on a   panel discussion for the 20th anniversary of the film Wag the Dog about recent sexual harassment accusations made by a woman who was a teen intern at the time who was working on the set of “Death of a Salesman starring Hoffman 40 years ago.

First of all, it didn’t happen the way she reported,” Hoffman replied, before suggesting that the apology he had made in response to the allegations had been misconstrued as an admission of guilt by the press. “I still don’t know who this woman is,” Hoffman said. “I never met her. If I met her it was in concert with other people.”

When Hoffman added that the alleged incident was not “reflective of who I am”, Oliver reacted angrily. “It’s that kind of response to this stuff that pisses me off,” Oliver said. “It is reflective of who you were. If you’ve given no evidence to show it didn’t [happen], there was a period of time for a while when you were a creeper around women. It feels like a cop-out to say ‘well this isn’t me.’ Do you understand how that feels like a dismissal?”

Hoffman made it clear that he believes it is wrong for people to simply choose to believe his accuser. He feels that he is being found guilty without a trial, as it were, and in so doing he completely misses the fact that this sort of talk implies that any time a woman steps forward to make an accusation against a powerful man, she must be lying and that the reason must obviously be that she merely “wants something.”

From: Dustin Hoffman confronted over abuse allegations by John Oliver at public Q&A | Film | The Guardian

DH: We were doing this. And to break it up, actors, people on crew, all these things — you do things. You say things. So suddenly one of the things was you come to work on Monday: “Did you have sex Friday?” You break it up. Everyone was saying it to each other. It’s a thing. You know, I don’t know if you’ve ever been in that kind of situation. But, it becomes a fad in which, you know, I said a stupid thing, you know, but I said it in the midst of the crew.

And they said their stupid things. But they were sexual in terms of the humour of it.

But that’s 19… That’s 40 years ago.

DH: Do you believe this stuff that you’re reading?

JO: I believe what she wrote, yes.

DH: Why?

JO: Because there’s no point in her lying.

DH: Well, there is a point in her not bringing this up for 40 years.

Hoffman has been the subject of two claims of sexual harassment, with Hunter’s allegations followed by a claim from writer Wendy Riss Gatsiounis that the actor had harassed her during an audition in 1991. Hoffman is yet to make a statement regarding the allegations made by Riss Gatsiounis.

From: the Huffington Post

Speaking at Politico’s Women Rule Summit in Washington, D.C., an event to celebrate female leadership, Transportation secretary Elaine Chao revealed that she has experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. However, she said, the “environment was very different” when it happened to her.

She continued:

“This is an important lesson. You know, you will go through difficulties in your life. And I hope you will all triumph. And when you triumph, you need to help others along the way. But you also must have magnanimity of spirit. Things change. Times change. And it’s not worth my while to go back and revisit those negative moments.

I will fight for other women. And I will stand up for other women. But you know, of your own — you’ve got to let it go. Because otherwise, it’s too corrosive, it’s too negative and it does you a double injury because it holds you back.”

Chao’s words brought backlash, with critics saying her remarks were part of the problem.

But she was absolutely right. These people making these sexual harassment charges from 30 or 40 years ago are clinging to the past and like she said “times change.”

A recent poll taken showed that 7 out of 10 millennials (people18-30) believe that just complimenting someone on how they dress or hugging someone is sexual harassment.

My, how times have changed.

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Jim Clayton

I am a retired former newspaper reporter and retail sales person. I'm a politically conservative easy going person from New Jersey. I am married to a wonderful wife and like talking and writing about movies,, concerts I attend and current events all which I write about here. I would enjoy hearing from anyone on my articles and they can write to me here.

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