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.”
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.
Portraits of George Clooney, Elle Fanning, Claire Foy, and More Stars of the 2017 Toronto Film Festival
Andrew Garfeld, Breathe
Claire Foy, Breathe
Annette Bening, Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool
Glenn Close, The Wife
Annie Starke, The Wife
Dominic Cooper, The Escape
Michiel Huisman, Indian Horse
Adèle Exarchopoulos, Racer and the Jailbird
George Mackay, Marrowbone
Bella Heathcote, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women
Javier Bardem, mother!
Christoph Waltz, Downsizing
Edie Falco, Outside In
Wim Wenders, director, Submergence
Andy Serkis, director, Breathe
Justine Bateman, director, Five Minutes
Michael Haneke, director, Happy End
Ellen Wong, TIFF Rising Stars
Melissa Leo, Battle of the Sexes
Brooklyn Prince, The Florida Project
Miranda Richardson, Stronger
Daniela Vega, A Fantastic Woman
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Julianne Nicholson, Who We Are Now
Diane Kruger, In the Fade.
Kate Mara, Chappaquiddick
Sarah Gadon, Alias Grace.
Margaret Qualley, Novitiate
Matthias Schoenearts, Racer and the Jailbird.
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri