Adam Sandler repeatedly touched Claire Foy’s leg on ‘The Graham Norton Show’

BFI London Film Festival The Meyerowitz Stories

Sometimes, Graham Norton gets the weirdest mix of guests and those weird mixes totally work. There have been brilliant combinations in the past, and then there are some combinations which seem like they would be fun but end up falling flat. This past weekend’s guest list ended up falling a bit flat. Graham Norton’s guests included Emma Thompson, Claire Foy, Cara Delevingne and… Adam Sandler. Sandler and Thompson were actually promoting the same film, The Meyerowitz Stories. Sandler was seated in between Emma and Claire, and as he tried to tell a story, he put his hand on Claire’s knee twice, even after she reacted with mock-horror and seemingly pushed off his hand. Here’s the video (if this gets taken down, I’ll try to find a replacement!):

The condemnation came swiftly on social media, with viewers outraged on Foy’s behalf, as this seemed like yet another incident where a male Hollywood type couldn’t keep his hands to himself. Then the backlash to those people happened just as quickly, with people arguing that it was just a stupid moment and that this is why women weren’t believed when they “cried rape” or whatever (the tweets were awful, honestly). For the record, it’s clear that Claire Foy was not amused that Sandler touched her, and she tried to play it off – as so many women do – by motioning him to keep his hands to himself. Was this, like, grade-A assault? Of course not. But it wasn’t “nothing” either. It was awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

Sandler’s rep told media outlets that Sandler’s knee-touching was merely a “friendly gesture” and that Sandler is often touchy-feely on chat shows. Claire’s rep also issued a statement saying: “We don’t believe anything was intended by Adam’s gesture, and it has caused no offense to Claire.” Of course, because if Foy made this into a big deal, she would be the one dealing with the brunt of the criticism.

BFI London Film Festival 'Breathe' - Photocall

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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66 Responses to “Adam Sandler repeatedly touched Claire Foy’s leg on ‘The Graham Norton Show’”

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  1. Alix says:

    Am I the only one who wishes she’d broken his fingers on air?

    • Who ARE these people? says:

      Or put a cigarette out on his palm?

      How oblivious does a man, a man in showbiz, have to be just this week to forget to keep his hands to himself?

    • denisemich says:

      It was uncomfortable but I don’t think he meant anything by it. Jennifer Lopez has done the same thing on the same show. Except as a woman she acknowledged it and apologized profusely.

      Adam Sandler always has his wife or kids with him. He also doesn’t interview often…. not sure if it was a nervous habit and he is used to his wife sitting next to him when he speaks.

      • swak says:

        Yet when she pushed his hand off the first time he should have put it there a second time. Not an excuse that his wife is always next to him. With all that is going on right now you would think he would be more aware of what he is doing.

      • Rose says:

        That’s the best you can come up with. Adam has been called out numerous time by women for requiring them to text read in very little clothing, that has nothing to do with the role.

      • denisemich says:

        I am not saying Adam Sandler is a great person. Definitely has the white rich male entitlement thing going.

        I just think in this case he didn’t mean to do it and was shocked and embarrassed when she moved his hand. He tried to make a joke out of it and didn’t touch her again.

        Also he looks ill.

      • magnoliarose says:

        If you watch it more than once it is clear that Adam touched Clare on purpose. She knows it too, and you can tell by her body language after he does it. Her hands flutter to her chest and then she touches her ear. She is clearly uncomfortable and playing it off.
        This is where he was supposed to apologize and say it is just a habit and try to make her comfortable. You don’t touch, and you don’t invade people’s personal space either. It is something I teach my kids, and they get it so a grown a.s man should know it too.
        But he does it again.
        It looks like nothing, but it isn’t.
        I used to think my aversion to being touched by someone I didn’t know or needing personal space was weird and I felt guilty about it. I thought maybe it was because I had so much physical contact on my job that wasn’t always pleasant so surely nothing is wrong with feeling “touched out.”
        However, since this issue became news it has dawned on me it is the result of a culmination of these kinds of moments. From the outside, it looks innocent, but you feel it in your gut that it is wrong. You think it is petty or foolish to say anything about it, so you keep quiet and make excuses.

      • Sherry says:

        I agree about the nervous habit thing. He repeatedly patted Dustin Hoffman’s knee on The Tonight Show..

      • Gemina24 says:

        He was doing the same to Dustin Hoffman on Jimmy Fallon’s show. Some people are just more touchy feely.

    • boredblond says:

      I don’t know about that, but I’m sure if she would’ve said ‘what the he’ll are you doing!?’, she would’ve received applause, and he would be properly humiliated in public

      • Sabrine says:

        It’s a joke. He’s trying to get a laugh. If you’re going to come on t someone, you don’t do it on a talk show with millions of viewers watching. This is such a non-issue it’s putting me to sleep.

      • Brickyardute says:

        I do not think he meant it to be flirtatious but that’s not the point. It obviously made her uncomfortable for which he should have apologized and stopped. Intent is less important than if it makes the other person uncomfortable or not. If it didn’t bother her than it would have been fine, but it did.

        Not assault but inappropriate.

    • Lana 234 says:

      Nope you’re not the only one lolol.

  2. Shambles says:

    Never forget that he is a racist POS who was so bad that Indigenous People walked off his movie set. Even his kids movies have weirdly racist, homophobic, and misogynistic undertones.

    Here’s a dude that wouldn’t shock me at all if it came out that he was yet another member of the Rapey White Men of 2017 club.

  3. Astrid says:

    It wasn’t a full on assault but still terrible to watch. Clearly it was unwanted and he persisted.

    • Jag says:

      Exactly! If a woman moves a man’s hand back to his own knee, then the touch isn’t wanted and shouldn’t be repeated.

      I wish that she had stopped the interview to say, “Please stop touching my knee. I don’t want to be touched.” That would have made him stop, hopefully.

  4. Merritt says:

    Gross. And it is yet another thing women are bullied into tolerating.

    • SK says:

      Yes, we’re expected to laugh it off, exactly as she and Cara did here. I did note that Emma Thompson has an extremely slit-eyed, unamused look on her face when she sees him do this.

  5. ell says:

    yeah, it was inappropriate. idk why dudes you don’t know feel like they can touch you without your consent.

  6. Sixer says:

    If you give the “good” ones an inch, the “bad” ones feel entitled to take a mile. Why can’t blokes get this simple principle?

    I don’t know anything about Sandler’s reputation about this stuff as I’m not interested in the kinds of films he makes , but let’s say he is one of the “good” ones. That’s why he should train himself not to do this shit.

  7. Lotusgoat says:

    Then she immediately protected/put her hands near her chest to shield herself for a moment, and then crossed her hands on her legs for a moment before relaxing again. Obviously uncomfortable.

    • SK says:

      I noticed that too.

    • KatieBo says:

      I noticed that immediately. And I recognized it as something I would do in that situation. And it made me annoyed all over again because it’s this unconscious moment of self-blame- “Am I showing too much cleavage? Do I need to adjust MYSELF to make this stop.” This crap is so ingrained in us… my God…

  8. Lucy2 says:

    Why on earth would he think that is appropriate? I doubt very much they knew each other prior to the show, they’re in a professional setting on camera, and he put his hand on her knee like they were a couple or something.
    She was clearly uncomfortable.

  9. LooseSeal says:

    Actually he was doing the exact same thing to Dustin Hoffman on Fallon the other night. My bf and I were like “why does Adam Sandler keep groping Dustin Hoffman?”

    • Julianna says:

      Looking at past interviews, he seems to pretty much do it to everyone. Thinking back I vaguely remember noting he was kind of weirdly touchy feely even in his SNL days.

      I think he lacks boundaries in general. I’m not sure this was any kind of sexual thing, but regardless, it’s totally innapropriate.

      • Beth says:

        I’m not sure that this was a sexual thing either. Some people touch while talking to people they know , but they aren’t being perverted

      • Milla says:

        Maybe he needs a Xanax. Cos touching people is not appropriate and if he can’t help himself then he should take some tranquilizer.

        He is horrible actor, horrible person and yet among biggest stars of hollyweird… Makes sense.

    • Jayna says:

      Yeah, he does it to men also. It’s not a sexual thing.

      I think he wasn’t even aware what was going on with her. He seemed intent on telling the story and didn’t realize her reaction to his hand. Even if he does it to men and women, not everyone likes it. Now, Liam Neeson can put his beautiful big hand on my knee while in an interview on TV, but that’s the only one. LOL Otherwise, keep your hands off of my knees. I don’t like touchy-feely people I don’t know, I like my body zone space free and clear.

      • lucy2 says:

        It may not be a sexual thing to him, but I’m guessing the woman being touched without her consent doesn’t know that, or doesn’t care – it was inappropriate and made her uncomfortable, whatever his intention.

      • Jag says:

        He could be bi and yes, it is a sexual thing if it makes the person uncomfortable.

    • Erinn says:

      I know men and women who are like this. My gram is one of those people who will poke at you while telling you something / telling a story to multiple people and doesn’t realize how much she’s jabbing at you. She’s always done it – so it’s not an age thing.

      I’m not a touchy feely person at all – a good chunk of my family is, though. And they always feel so bad because their instinct is to hug people (loved ones, not complete strangers) and my cousin and I both just withdraw like it’s the worst thing in the world. I’ll usually give in with the ones I don’t see often, or give them a hug on holidays/birthdays/whatever. But I’m not someone who just touches people, so I can’t fully understand it.

      I think for some people it’s a fidgety thing, which I can almost understand because I have ADD. It’s like they’re trying to zone into their story or whatever and don’t even realize what they’re doing with their hands. The thing is – people need to start paying more attention because there are so many people who don’t want to be touched.

  10. aims says:

    It was totally inappropriate. Clearly she was uncomfortable. I’m very much hands to yourself, get out of my space person and I have been in situations like this. It’s uncomfortable and frankly,unless someone gives you permission, just keep your hands to yourself.

    On a related note, Emma looked like she was going to rip Adam a new one by her stare. Love Emma.

  11. Electric Tuba says:

    Not assault. Not cool either. I had a more disgusted reaction to my creepy as hell Aunt hugging me from behind at my grandmothers funeral recently. I’ve never been touchy-feely, she’s only been my technical aunt for a few years, and I’m not a fragile child looking to be consoled cause my gran died. I felt violated as f@?k. It’s not assault what she did but it I felt creepy, was unwanted, made me want to punch her in her stupid face, and yell WTF nasty hag. Because I have been bad touched and no one in that family believed me when I was a child and I’m tired of my small stature being used as an excuse to treat me like an idiot or a kid.

    Well I guess I have more feelings on this than I realized and now I must go work my punching bag while I wonder if me touching someone’s knee is wrong too and wonder why I didn’t yell at my creepy aunt not to touch me at the funeral. Ahhhhhhhh

    • Jag says:

      I’m sorry that she did that to you. She should have asked if you wanted a hug to give you the chance to say “no.”

      My aunt and her daughter decided to disparage my appearance at my uncle’s funeral because I doubled my body weight due to medical reasons. I wanted so much to say something, but didn’t because I didn’t want to start a fight while his family was mourning. The next time, though, I’m going to absolutely say something.

      Maybe we both should write letters to the offenders and then recycle them. (The letters – not the clueless jerks.)

  12. Ally says:

    There’s a Chapo Trap House bit about Adam Sandler’s 9/11 movie (I know, I still can’t believe that happened). It’s on YouTube, and it’s a hilarious takedown if you need some schadenfreude on this guy. Not only is the movie wildly inappropriate, it also manages to horn in misogyny.

  13. Who ARE these people? says:

    At this point it’s time for victims of this kind of casual everyday predation to smack them upside the head, in public and on the air. Not that victims should have to be responsible but they shouldn’t have to be “nice” about it either.

    Commanding “get your hands off me” or “don’t touch me” would work, too. No more of this wiggling away to be “polite.” I hate that we’re trained to accept boorish, territorial behavior.

  14. Serene Wolf says:

    I think… Adam knew EXACTLY what he was doing. Call me wierd but I think he did this deliberately to provoke these women into displaying ‘extreme’ reactions to a so called ‘minor’ incident. To prove a point. To stand with Weinstein and other depraved men who are being taken down.

    Goofy Sandler’s mask is slipping! Funny thing is the PUBLIC tore him down instead of the victim. Sweet karma.

    • Indiana Joanna says:

      I agree. Even if it was “innocent” he should have gotten the message the first time when she brushed him off of her. But he didn’t.

  15. Jaina says:

    Here’s the thing: maybe he wasn’t trying to be creepy or cop a feel or whatever. But when someone moves your hand several times and indicates they’d like you to stop, you should have enough respect for the other person to stop.

    I bet if Bruce Willis had removed his hand he would have stopped. And that’s the problem. A man automatically commands more respect for his personal boundaries than a woman does.

  16. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Regardless of what kind of person he is (he is a known douche), she was VERY CLEARLY uncomfortable with his behaviour, at one point it looked like Cara was trying to put herself between them it was so uncomfortable and awful to watch.

  17. trollontheloose says:

    Sandler’s statement is as bad as the George Bush “good manner” one. As for Claire she is in the same movie. It would have been great right ther to say “i felt uncomfortable” but I bet you selling the movie and not making Sandler uncomfortable was more valuable..

  18. Ashley says:

    Have you seen the episode with Saoirse Ronan and Richard Gere its soooo creepy because he keeps rubbing her back and it just feels so gross.

  19. serena says:

    He’s gross, I could never shake this feeling, and we know it’s right. I can’t forget what Rose McGowan said about him..

  20. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    Here’s the thing for me… People do this; they reach out, and it’s akin to a hug. And because certain touching and hugging and cheek-kissing gestures are globally commonplace, with certain variations, it’s a daily occurrence anywhere and everywhere. The problems stem from not everyone being social mavericks and possessing innate abilities to access interpretations during situations that properly guide behaviors. You know what I mean? There’s a lot at play in public settings and not everyone knows how to handle themselves. I see it all the time and hardly think about it. Have I been brushed by a rapist? Have I had a conversation, in passing, with a criminal harboring insidious thoughts and intentions? Maybe.

    I’m not a Sandler apologist by any stretch… he’s a man-child. I simply want people to stay calm and walk forward with intelligent purpose.

    • Serene Wolf says:

      Wow. It IS intelligent to protect our personal space.

      Your comment is flippant and insulting.

      Nobody has to put up with being touched. Period.

      • Mabs A'Mabbin says:

        Precisely why I said calm and intelligent.. for which you’re exhibiting neither. http://www.opodo.co.uk/blog/greetings-around-the-world/ shows cursory examples and was listed first upon a simplistic search. Personally, growing up in a predominantly Latin environment, I was constantly touched. Young, old, male, female, et al would gently place their hands over my eyes. It was their way of blessing me. It is their culture. Maturity might be your friend in this instance.

      • Tina says:

        Having one’s knee groped is not “a daily occurrence anywhere and everywhere.” Especially in the UK. (And I am perfectly calm).

  21. Wen says:

    These comments are insane. No means no. Period. Whether it’s sex, touching, kissing, talking. No means no the first time, and should never have to be repeated. Especially on national TV.

    • lisa says:

      thank you! so many excuses being made for him

      he managed to make millions w/o a modicum of talent, yet he cant possibly be expected to control his own limbs. i’m not done reading the posts yet but i wont be surprised to find #leaveadamalone

  22. Margaret says:

    I don’t know anything about a history of inappropriate behaviour with Sandler. On this occasion it seems to me that he realised he’d made a mistake since he was taking his hand away before she moved to remove it. I think that as she had reacted he put it back as an attempt at a joke. He then made that comment about his parents inviting themselves, which seems to me to be acknowledging he invited his hand onto her knee and should not have done it. It was definitely awkward though, and maybe made more awkward by Foy’s ongoing reaction. But this was a spur of the moment incident which was unfortunately captured for posterity by the cameras. I’m putting it in the ‘storm in a teacup’ folder.

  23. Blossombetch says:

    The first touch may have been an absent minded mistake, but I saw the second as a deliberate act of dominance, shielded under the guise of humour. She clearly expressed discomfort, so of course he does it again – because he’s a very important man with an ego that mustn’t be bruised. If he’d said something like ‘Oh, sorry! So involved in the story, I don’t know what I’m doing!’ in a light-hearted way, it wouldn’t have felt so very uncomfortable.

  24. Vovacia says:

    If I remember correctly, I thought at that moment he has started to reference something about him that had already in some aspect been answered differently by Foy. So the touch was like him saying, ‘I know that you said this but I had a totally different experience’. But it was in a jokey way – like he didn’t want to offend her and then she kind of half feigned the upset.
    That’s how I remember this moment. In fact, he surprised me throughout the whole show. I am not a fan but he was really subdued and honest to god, you’d have thought he was actually a bit petrified at times. It made me slightly wonder if he thought he was going to get asked or called out on something Weinstein related, particularly as Thompson was there. The show, to my disappointment didn’t mention it at all. Unless they did and cut it.

  25. Jessica says:

    This was socially awkward but I’ll put the pitchfork away for this.

    I also strongly dislike AS.

    • magnoliarose says:

      No pitchfork, I agree. Just a moment to discuss personal space and how to respond. Perspective is essential so that serious infractions aren’t minimized.

    • I Choose Me says:

      With you on this. Her reaction though, clearly shows her discomfort and I wish she’d acknowledged that but I understand why she didn’t.

  26. Suki says:

    I really don’t think Adam meant anything by this. We need to be careful not to turn this into a witch hunt. It only shoots the cause in the foot.

  27. Cupcake says:

    That was so bizarre.

  28. justine says:

    What if a woman put her hand on a man’s knee? Would she be accused of acting inappropriate? I don’t think so. Claire said she wasn’t offended, so it should be left at that. Any more is just putting words in her mouth.