Project host hits back at Dreyfuss
HAMISH MacDonald has hit back at claims from Richard Dreyfuss that he was ambushed in an interview on The Project.
Appearing on Channel 9's Today Extra on Thursday morning, Dreyfuss read a lengthy prepared statement denouncing his appearance on The Sunday Project.
The Jaws actor claimed hosts MacDonald and Lisa Wilkinson had "mugged" him when they asked questions about an allegation of sexual misconduct and the #MeToo movement.
Dreyfuss alleged The Project had invited him and Kathleen Turner on the show for a "light, friendly chat", only to then ambush him with "secret" questions in "a breach of ethical behaviour".
In a segment on Thursday's episode of The Project, MacDonald denied he and Wilkinson had ambushed the movie star.
"We did not mug Richard Dreyfuss. I have got to say I'm shocked and actually a bit disappointed in this whole thing," MacDonald said.
"I don't really even understand it. Some things that are worth pointing out: His people were very clearly told that we intended to ask questions about allegations that had been made about him and that he had spoken about in the past in that written statement.
"We have also got the emails to prove that we told them we were going to ask questions about that."
MacDonald argued that as reporters, there was "no way" he and Wilkinson could of let Dreyfuss appear on The Project without asking him questions about the sexual misconduct allegation.
"Don't forget, this is man who publicly said that in the 1970s at the height of his fame he'd disrespected himself and women and ignored his own ethics," MacDonald said.
"For what it's worth, Richard gave a really frank, honest and thoughtful response to our questions. I don't understand why he's said what he's said today."
Wilkinson has also responded to Dreyfuss' claims on Twitter, saying that The Project's producers had written to his publicists three days beforehand to inform him of the questions.
A Channel 10 spokesman has also rejected Dreyfuss' allegations against The Project.