Dustin Hoffman has been accused of sexually harassing a then-17-year-old production assistant on the set of the 1985 TV film adaptation of Death of a Salesman.
In a detailed account for The Hollywood Reporter, Anna Graham Hunter noted a number of occasions in which Hoffman either groped her rear or made obscene sexual comments. Much of the information comes from copies of dispatches she sent to her sister while on the movie set 30 years ago.
During her first day on set, Hunter was asked to give Hoffman a foot massage. Things quickly progressed, with Hoffman openly discussing breasts in front of her; “I don’t like them when they’re tan, because then they look like part of the body,” he said while talking with John Malkovich, Stephen Lang, and Arthur MIller. Lang responded, “Which they’re not.” Hoffman also asked if she had had “sex over the weekend like I told you?”, a remark she laughed off.
10 days into the job, Hunter said she became disillusioned with the entire filmmaking business when she overheard Hoffman answer Elizabeth’s request for lunch orders by saying, “Your left breast.” When she responded, “You’re disgusting,” Hoffman said, “Ok, your right breast.” Elizabeth called him “a pig” and left. An office assistant told Hunter, “If [producer] Bob Colesberry had heard that, she would have been gone in a second.”
That same day, Hunter was walking Hoffman to his limo when he apparently repeatedly touched her butt. She slapped his hand away each time and called him a “dirty old man.” Pointing to his head, Hoffman responded, “No, I’m a dirty young man, I have a full head of hair.”
In a February 4th letter to her sister, Hunter wrote, “Today this business got scarier. Or at least less appealing.” She had asked Hoffman what he wanted for breakfast and got a response that was “worse than anything anyone has ever said to me on the street.” Though she didn’t write it at the time, Hunter recalled him ordering, “a hard-boiled egg… and a soft-boiled clitoris.”
Hoffman apparently overheard Hunter discussing his behavior with his assistant, Frankie, and confronted her in front of the cast and crew. When he caught her in a hallway and shouted, “Anna! So you think I’m a sexist pig, huh? Anna!”, she told him he didn’t appreciate his “wandering hands or comments.” At this time, he appeared to sincerely apologize and switched to being very polite, helping her carry things and flirting in a more innocent manner. However, when Warren Beatty visited the set, Hoffman reacted to Hunter’s response to him by saying, “You might as well have undressed yourself. You were saying, ‘Fuck me, fuck me, Warren.'”
Hunter went on to express conflicting feelings about Hoffman, saying he’s “a pig, but I like him a lot.” Though she admited to respecting him as an actor and being “alternately charmed and repelled” by him, she now has no misconception about what happened to her. “At 49, I understand what Dustin Hoffman did as it fits into the larger pattern of what women experience in Hollywood and everywhere. He was a predator, I was a child, and this was sexual harassment.”
In a statement to THR, Hoffman responded to the allegations: “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.”
Read Hunter’s entire account here.