Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman’s dislike for one another is well documented, as is Hoffman’s history of sexually harassing his female colleagues and employees. Well, here’s a story that combines both.
In a 1979 Time magazine interview unearthed by Slate’s Ruth Graham, Streep tells the story of her first time meeting Hoffman. Graham summarizes:
Meryl Streep described auditioning for a play 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.)
Previously, Jezebel found footage from 1992, in which Hoffman describes pinching his The Graduate co-star Katharine Ross on her buttocks during their first screen test “as a way to help loosen us up,” though Ross, understandably, did not find it to be the relaxing experience that Hoffman supposedly intended. Hoffman described:
...She just whirled on me and said, [Hoffman adopts rough, angry voice] “Don’t you ever do that to me again.” And suddenly everybody kind of heard it, the crew and wherever, and I just sat there and they didn’t know what was going on. She said, “How dare you?!”
When accused in a recent Hollywood Reporter article of sexually harassing writer Anna Graham Hunter when she was a 17-year-old intern on the set of Death of a Salesman, Hoffman responded, ““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.”
Seems like it is!
UPDATE: Since the writing of this article, Meryl Streep’s representative told E! News that the Time article is not an “accurate rendering of that meeting,” adding that “there was an offense and it is something for which Dustin apologized. And Meryl accepted that.” The headline has been changed to reflect Streep’s statement.