The reason for Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman’s well documented history of dislike for one another may be due to Hoffman’s unwanted sexual advances when first meeting the actress.
In an 1979 interview withTime magazine, Streep described her first time meeting Hoffman. Slate’s Ruth Graham discovered the interview and provided a summary:
Streep described how she first met Hoffman when auditioning for a play Hoffman had directed several years earlier. “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.)
Jezebel also unearthed footage from 1992 in which Hoffman talks about pinching his Graduate co-star Katharine Ross’s butt during a screen test “as a way to help loosen us up.” Hoffman described how, surprise surprise, Ross did not find the experience to be even a bit relaxing: “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?!‘”
Hoffman was also recently accused in a 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.”
Well, Hoffman, actions speak louder than words.