CULTURE

Why Adam Sandler Touching Claire Foy’s Knee During an Interview Is a Problem

His rep called it a “friendly gesture”


2017 AMD British Academy Britannia Awards Presented by Jaguar Land Rover And American Airlines - Arrivals
Photo by Greg Doherty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Update: A spokeswoman for Claire Foy told the Daily Mail, “We don’t believe anything was intended by Adam’s gesture and it has caused no offence to Claire.”

During an appearance on The Graham Norton Show, Adam Sandler rested his hand on The Crown star Claire Foy’s knee while telling a story.

While that sentence makes the moment seem like an unintentional gesture, Foy reacted by tapping Sandler’s hand, prompting him to remove it. But he touched her again, and he also touched Emma Thompson on the leg during the same appearance. Even as both Foy and Thompson looked visibly uncomfortable, Sandler “seemed oblivious to what was happening, as he carried on telling a story to the audience with a story,” as Page Six said.

You can see the awkward moment in the video below which, fair warning, is narrated by a somber robot. (If you’re in the UK, click here.)

Sandler’s representative told Page Six that it was a “friendly gesture.” Still, some fans have taken to Twitter to express their dismay over the inappropriateness of the touch.

Others have come to Sandler’s defense, saying that he was probably just nervous, and that equating a momentary touch with something like sexual assault is offensive to victims.

It is correct to draw a clear distinction between a brief unwanted touch and sexual assault. And Sandler may have been, as some have noted, either friendly or nervous or entirely unaware of what he was doing. It’s also something he’s done before–in an appearance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Sandler patted the knee of actor Dustin Hoffman (Twitter seemed less concerned). On the other hand, Sandler also seemed to be unaware of the impact of his actions, and Foy’s gesture to get him to stop. So no, it’s not nothing.

This story has been updated with new information.

Related: Rose McGowan Speaks Out at the Women’s Convention: “Name It, Shame It, Call It Out”

Portraits of George Clooney, Elle Fanning, Claire Foy, and More Stars of the 2017 Toronto Film Festival

Andrew Garfeld, Breathe

All photos by Caitlin Cronenberg at ET Canada Festival Central. Produced by Arthouse (@arthouseagency). Set design by @hawkeyesdesign.

Claire Foy, Breathe

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Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool

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Glenn Close, The Wife

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Annie Starke, The Wife

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Dominic Cooper, The Escape

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Michiel Huisman, Indian Horse

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Adèle Exarchopoulos, Racer and the Jailbird

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George Mackay, Marrowbone

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Bella Heathcote, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women

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Javier Bardem, mother!

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Christoph Waltz, Downsizing

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Edie Falco, Outside In

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Wim Wenders, director, Submergence

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Andy Serkis, director, Breathe

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Justine Bateman, director, Five Minutes

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Michael Haneke, director, Happy End

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Ellen Wong, TIFF Rising Stars

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Melissa Leo, Battle of the Sexes

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Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project

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Miranda Richardson, Stronger

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Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman

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Hong Chau, Downsizing

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Julianne Nicholson, Who We Are Now

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Diane Kruger, In the Fade.

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Kate Mara, Chappaquiddick

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Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace.

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Margaret Qualley, Novitiate

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Matthias Schoenearts, Racer and the Jailbird.

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Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

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