Dustin Hoffman possibly groped Meryl Streep the first time they met?

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Last week, we discussed Dustin Hoffman and how he’s a flaming bag of garbage. In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein revelations, many other well-known and long-time sexual harassers and assailants have been “outed,” and Hoffman’s name keeps coming up. Go here and here to read the accounts of two of Hoffman’s victims.

When the Hoffman stories came out last week, I recalled the Meryl Streep story I covered last year – Vanity Fair published excerpts from a book about Meryl, and there was an account of Hoffman’s deplorable behavior towards Meryl as they filmed Kramer vs Kramer. Go back and read that story – during filming of an emotional scene, Dustin Hoffman slapped Meryl (off-script) and verbally taunted her about the recent death of her lover John Cazale. It seems that Meryl also told an interviewer in 1979 that Hoffman groped her when they first met. From Slate:

Take this 1979 interview in Time magazine, in which Meryl Streep described auditioning for a play Dustin Hoffman had directed several years earlier. It was apparently the first time they had met. “He came up to me and said, ‘I’m Dustin—burp—Hoffman,’ and he put his hand on my breast,” Streep said. “What an obnoxious pig, I thought.” (Hoffman doesn’t appear to have responded publicly to this claim from Streep in the years since the interview.)

Streep’s story echoes Dustin Hoffman’s own account of “very gently” pinching his Graduate co-star Katharine Ross’ rear end during their first screen test. He did it, he said in a 1992 interview, “as a way to help loosen us up.” Stories about him have circulated in the press for years, framed as the behavior of a playful playboy. “I’m a flirt,” the actor told People magazine in a 1983 cover story. “I also have a lot of chauvinism, a lot of womanizing in my past. It’s hard for me to find a woman unattractive, unless she’s angry or down on herself.” He once told Playboy that he lost his virginity at 15 to a 20-year-old “nymphomaniac” when he pretended, in a darkened room, to be his older brother, Ronny.

The hagiographic 1982 biography ‘Dustin Hoffman: Hollywood’s Antihero’ rounds up several disturbing anecdotes as evidence that Hoffman is a known “womanizer”: “Even Dustin has admitted on occasion that he loves to flirt, claiming that he does it as an involuntary reflex. He has supposedly cornered women in elevators to solicit sex and has even unzipped one woman reporter’s blouse to peek down her chest during an interview. He tries to catch himself, but finds it difficult to overcome the temptation.”

[From Slate]

Regarding the specific claim that Meryl made in 1979, Meryl’s rep told E! News that the article is “not an accurate rendering of that meeting” and “There was an offense and it is something for which Dustin apologized. And Meryl accepted that.” So… something did happen and he apologized for it at some point. But why isn’t anyone discussing the story about Hoffman assaulting Meryl on the set of Kramer vs. Kramer??? Also: go and read that full Slate article that I excerpted. Hoffman is a serial harasser and assailant. He’s garbage.

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59 Responses to “Dustin Hoffman possibly groped Meryl Streep the first time they met?”

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  1. Astrid says:

    just sickening

  2. Belle Epoch says:

    Just IMAGINE a colleague introducing himself and grabbing your boob. Do you think we’ve gotten to the point where most women would react immediately and loudly? Not shading Meryl – this was a long time ago and she probably was too horrified to speak.

    • third ginger says:

      The “long time ago” and “too horrified to speak” are accurate. Everyone should read the account by a 95 year old Janis Page, star from the Golden Age, who has recently recounted an assault that happened in the 40’s. There is a long and horrifying history of this behavior, and of a system that kept women afraid to speak out.

      • Neelyo says:

        I was so glad to hear the story of a Golden Age star like Miss Paige and grateful she shared her story. She was right, Bloomingdale was a garbage person right up to his death.

      • Frau says:

        Do you have a link for that article? I couldn’t find it.

      • third ginger says:

        Janis’ story was in THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER on October 27.

      • LAK says:

        How about a 12yr old Shirley Temple meeting producer / songwiter Arthur Freed for the first time and he drops trousers and invites her to touch his pen!s.

        Luckily for her, being completely ignorant of men’s anatomy, she thought he had a wierd protusion and apparently burst into laughter which enraged the producer who threw her out of his office.

        Arthur Freed was notorious sexual predator and assaulter of women and children in 1930s/ 40s/50s Hollywood, but he kept on working. And it’s infuriating to know about his infuriating private behaviour whilst watching some of the best musicals ever produced, and timeless music still being used today in everything from movies to ads. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006085/


    • Pamela says:

      “Do you think we’ve gotten to the point where most women would react immediately and loudly?”

      No. Sadly, I still don’t think we are there. I think SOME women would. But most? I really don’t think so. I think many of us would be shocked in the moment, and embarrassed. HA! WE would be embarrassed, not the guy who grabbed us, insane, right? But sadly, true.

      And then there are the victim blamers who will quickly point out that the assaulted woman DIDN’T yell, she laughed, blew it off, did nothing….and so that makes it “ok”.

      I am sooooooooooooooo tired lately. I am glad that all the victims are speaking out and I hope it helps them feel empowered. I hope it leads to some arrests. Or to some change. But also, it is just draining me. Not so much complaining, as just making the statement. This is all so ingrained in so many places.

      A very good friend of mine, who by all accounts is a smart and decent man said something that just exhausted me. We were talking about Harvey and how there are so many victims coming forward. And he said “Yeah, I am sure he did that, but don’t you think that some of these women are just taking advantage of this and lying?” Umm…no. No I don’t. Obv I believe them all. But hell, the idea that even HW gets some kind of pass here. Like, that a SMART man could think that any of his accusers are LYING??? How do we stand a chance of ever changing things if that is what the “decent” men think?

    • Tiny Martian says:

      Yes. That was still a time when callously groping a woman upon meeting her was categorized as “flirting”. Ugh.

    • Juls says:

      My friend recently told me a story, this happened within the past couple of years. Went to a party with her new BF, one of his friends introduced himself by grabbing her breast. She was horrified but laughed it off. When the guy found out she was “taken” he profusely apologized to the BF, “sorry I didn’t know she was with you, so sorry.” He was sorry for touching another man’s “property” but not sorry TO HER for assaulting her. Because he didn’t view her body as HER property and she didn’t have the right to not be assaulted. This is the world we STILL live in as women. There are many men out there that see us as less than human. This is why they have no problems with womens’ rights and healthcare being taken away.

      • Lori says:

        Juls, thats horrible.

      • detritus says:

        My first boyfriend grabbed my boob before he kissed me, before he said he even liked me. At the time I slapped him and told him off, and he apologized profusely. We were very young.
        When I asked why, it was because he had a female friend who told him that’s how you know if a girl likes you. You grab her boob. If she slaps you she doesn’t like you.

  3. aims says:

    Is there one decent man in Hollywood? ? Seriously! ! What’s so hard about keeping your hands to yourself and speaking to someone respectfully?

    • H says:

      Tom Hanks?

    • frisbee says:

      Mark Ruffolo, pinning all hopes on him he seems one of the few truly decent men in that cess pit.

      • Anastasia says:

        Oh God, please let Mark Ruffalo be one of the good ones. PLEASE.

      • Shijel says:

        Mark gets bro-y at times and comes across as a stereotypical ‘male feminist’ every now and then but afaik there are no really sordid rumours about him.

        Under normal circumstances I would not accept this wishy washy feminism and social justice from the likes of Ruffalo and even Chris Evans. So imagine how messed up things must be for me (and I’m sure many others) to think that: yeah, I’ll count my blessings with Ruffalo, warts and all.

        It’s that bad.

        That said, I do appreciate men’s efforts to get better, even if they often fail to ‘get it’. I appreciate the honest will to do good by people.

    • jello says:

      ryan gosling, one of the nicest men

    • Adrien says:

      Joe Alywyn, such a flawless, flawless man.

  4. QueenB says:

    “He once told Playboy that he lost his virginity at 15 to a 20-year-old “nymphomaniac” when he pretended, in a darkened room, to be his older brother, Ronny.”

    Ah the good old rape trick.

  5. M&M says:

    I want to set everything on fire.
    Jesus! Are there any decent men out there?
    If Jessica Lange was harassed during Tootsie I am revolting.

  6. Natalie S says:

    After reading in the last post, the story of how he lost his virginity, I’ll never be able to watch another of his pictures. I literally feel physical revulsion.

  7. Anastasia says:

    There’s a scene in Kramer vs Kramer in which they meet in a restaurant to discuss their impending divorce and custody of their son. Hoffman suddenly smashes his wine/water glass against the wall behind their table and that was not in script. Her reaction is genuine shock. I know that’s not sexual predation, but I read that story on imdb years ago and thought “what an asshole.” So all these other stories are just confirming that.

    • Surely Wolfbeak says:

      Not a prop, either. Flying glass. She could have been blinded. But he got that reaction!

    • Anon says:

      Also several scenes in Tootsie where he is creepy and predatory towards the blonde actress his character has a relationship with (not the Jessica Lange character). Coming onto her in the context of rehearsals and praising her work.

  8. Froggy says:

    We need to raise our sons to be respectful to women and our daughters to know their self worth and find their voice.
    I am using these stories to teach my boys and the best part is how they tell me that it’s common sense not to act like that and how disgusted they are by the behavior of these ‘men’

    • Anastasia says:

      Good for you, and good for them. I’m lucky–my mother in law raised my husband to be extremely respectful of all people and he DEFINITELY was taught what consent was and what it wasn’t. She was so determined about this that I suspect she was the victim of sexual predators. She was born in 47, so it’s extremely likely.

      And when my husband was growing up (born in 68), I don’t think there was as much awareness as there is now of teaching your sons what consent is, teaching them about personal boundaries, etc.

      When I met him, he was so insistent on not doing *anything* that I didn’t want to do. And sadly, he was the first man I had ever met who insisted on getting my full consent on any and all sexual activities. The FIRST ONE.

      So I wish you well–you will turn out wonderful men.

  9. Unmade_bed says:

    All of this shock regarding Hollywood men comes off, to me, as very naive. This is what men do, in Hollywood and everywhere else. There is no way to blacklist all men who have been disrespectful toward females, unless you’re also willing to boycott the contributions of King and Gandhi.

    • JA says:

      Sooooo we are naive to think we deserve respect? Boys just being boys? Men acting like they always do? You’re part of the problem!! This isn’t normal or ok behaviour!!! We are angry and pissed that this is still going on in 2017! We are angry and if making noise is the only way to address and try to rid society of it! Call me naive but the world deserves better

    • Trashaddict says:

      Unmade_bed: not shocked. Just effing all fed up. I am not really fond of men right now. They need to take their D&^%s in their little hands and deposit them back in their pants. They can feel free to J$%^ off if they’d like to (in the privacy of their own bathrooms, not in cars please).
      At such time as they’d like to relate to us on an adult level, might make for some really great sex afterwards. The most barfworthy is when they think the groping is OK because it’s impulsive or somehow “cute”.

  10. BlueMoodyHues says:

    He certainly seems to have an interesting definition of flirt.

  11. Talie says:

    Even Meryl’s statement on Harvey was kinda defensive and weird…I don’t understand her motivation here.

    • Shijel says:

      Conflict of interest?

      Meryl strikes to me as someone who managed to claw her way to the highest echelon of the boys’ club. Still a peg or two lower than the male players, but hey, almost there. She seems to fiercely protect her position and is willing to shut her eye in the face of horrid trespasses against other women.

      I might also believe that one can be abused and still speak in favour of the abusers because it’s a psychological clusterfuck.

      And I am absolutely willing to believe that she endured copious amounts of abuse to get where she is. Maybe that’s why she’s clinging so hard to what she has. I’m projecting, but maybe she thinks that she has to make the pain worthwhile. Insiders know that she has warned her also in the industry daughters left and right about the abusive moneymen and power players in the industry-

      I think Meryl knew, and I wish she would speak up. At this point she could without any serious repercussions. But she seems to be.. well, conflicted. Hopefully she’ll come out on the right side. Meryl could open the flood gates, she has the power to do that. Perhaps one of the few women in hollywood who could do that, really?

  12. Stacye310 says:

    We’re not discussing it because it’s Meryl’s story to tell. She’s the survivor. And if she has forgiven him and moved on, that is her right. It’s one thing to discuss the behavior of criminals who sexually assault or harass others. It’s another to tell the stories of survivors without their voice being heard. Including when they choose not to speak out.

  13. Chloeee says:

    “He finds it difficult to find a woman unattractive unless she’s angry or down on herself”

    Wooooooow. that’s telling.

  14. zuzusgirl says:

    ” He tries to catch himself, but finds it difficult to overcome the temptation.” Spoken like a true predator.

    • Pedro45 says:

      No, silly. He’s just flirtatious. Can’t you take a joke? Are you down on yourself or angry? Why can’t women just lighten up already? Jeez. /s

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Who thinks that grabbing a random woman’s boob is okay other than a predator and someone who doesn’t see women as autonomous over their bodies? Dustin always struck me as an a*hole anyway so when stories first started coming out about him I was not surprised. He’s a garbage human being.

  16. Penelope says:

    So disappointed to learn DH is a total creep. His shameful, horrific story about losing his virginity is literally sickening.

  17. Jaylyn says:

    I heard some 15 years ago that Streep said she would never work with him again after Kramer v. Kramer. She never did either.

    Hoffman thinks b/c he’s short and acts coquettish, that his behavior is okay. He comes on in a dorkish non-threatening way so in his mind, he’s no threat. NOBODY wants some strange man pawing at them!!! Having to bat it away, get away, be touched in any way shape or form is an outrage. What he thinks was cute and flirty is beyond repulsive. I can see him allowing his hedonism when he was really young, but he never stopped or even lightened up. He’s a pig. He’ll never admit that to himself, but my guess is his psyche knows and that’s why he’s a sot!

    • Lisa says:

      Yup, this is what I think, too. He’s built up an image as the nerdy, nebbish type, safe for women to adore. Hell, I think he was one of my first crushes. And he probably thought he was safe after what he said about women and attractiveness a few years ago.

  18. Lisa says:

    Yup, this is what I think, too. He’s built up an image as the nerdy, nebbish type, safe for women to adore. Hell, I think he was one of my first crushes. And he probably thought he was safe after what he said about women and attractiveness a few years ago.

  19. Lila22 says:

    Joaquin Phoenix slapped Charlize Theron in the face on one of their movies together. Can’t remember the name but it also starred Mark Walberg. I saw that in the directors cut DVD. It was off screen.

    • msd says:

      Male actors get away with a lot of crap like that in the name of being “method” but it’s often geared towards female co-stars in a really aggressive way. I mean, I bet Phoenix never pulled that shit on Russell Crowe.

      Joaquin Phoenix, I fear, is more like his BFF Casey Affleck than we’d like to think.

  20. Jackie says:

    Funny, not so long ago I was pretty blown away by this interview with Hoffman about playing Dorothy in Tootsie.