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.