Adam Sandler has been widely criticised after repeatedly touching Claire Foy during an appearance on The Graham Norton Show (27 October), with many viewers insisting that The Crown star looked “visibly uncomfortable” throughout the encounter.
Twitter was soon flooded with complaints after Sandler was seen placing his hand on Foy’s knee as he told an anecdote during the BBC chat show. Despite Foy brushing him away, he went on to touch her again, this time resting his hand on her leg for two seconds.
“Felt very uncomfortable watching Adam repeatedly put his unwanted hand on the knee of Claire Foy,” wrote one.
Another, referencing the ongoing Harvey Weinstein sexual assault allegations, added: “With all that's happening did I just see Claire Foy looking a little distressed at Adam Sandler's hands all over her knee?”
“I don’t think Adam Sandler would have done that if he'd been sitting next to a man,” insisted another. “That’s why it's a problem.”
Other viewers, however, noted that The Wedding Singer star touched Dustin Hoffman’s knee in a similar way during an interview on Jimmy Fallon's talk show on American TV this month.
Responding to the incident, a spokesman for Sandler described his actions as “a friendly gesture”.
Foy’s representatives, meanwhile, have issued a statement on behalf of the Breathe star, insisting that she was “not offended”.
“We don’t believe anything was intended by Adam’s gesture,” they told the Mail Online, “and it has caused no offence to Claire.”
Foy and Sandler appeared alongside Cara Delevingne and Emma Thompson on the show, both of whom have been incredibly vocal about the “endemic” of predatory sexual behaviour in Hollywood.
Addressing Weinstein directly, Thompson previously branded the disgraced movie producer as “dangerous” – and reminded the media to stop using apologetic terminology in cases such as these.
“I don’t think you can describe him as a sex addict,” she insisted during an appearance on Newsnight. “He's a predator. He's an actual predator, he's dangerous and what he's done and what he's doing is criminal.”
Thompson continued: “What I find sort of extraordinary is that this man is at the top of a very particular iceberg... (At) the top of the ladder of is a system of harassment, and belittling, and bullying, and interference, and what my mother would have referred to in the old days as ‘pestering.’ ‘Is he pestering you?’
“That's the word we used to use in the olden days, if you recall. This has been part of our world, women's world, since time immemorial.”
The Love Actually star went on to claim that Weinstein is absolutely not the only man in Hollywood to abuse his position of power, but asked, “Do they all have to be as bad as him to count?
“Does it only count if you really have done it to loads and loads and loads of women? Or does it count if you do it to one woman once? I think the latter.”
At the beginning of October, Delevingne revealed that she had a disturbing encounter with Weinstein that left her feeling “powerless and scared”.
Writing in an Instagram post, she said what she’d believed to be a work meeting with the film mogul had involved “inappropriate” conversation about her sexuality and Weinstein first asking her to kiss another woman, before trying to kiss her himself.
Alongside a quote reading, “Don’t be ashamed of your story, it will inspire others”, she wrote: “When I first started to work as an actress, I was working on a film and I received a call from Harvey Weinstein asking if I had slept with any of the women I was seen out with in the media. It was a very odd and uncomfortable call.
“I answered none of his questions and hurried off the phone but before I hung up, he said to me that if I was gay or decided to be with a woman, especially in public, that I’d never get the role of a straight woman or make it as an actress in Hollywood.”
Six women have now accused Harvey Weinstein of rape, and police in London, New York and Los Angeles are actively investigating claims of sexual assault made against the disgraced producer. The most recent allegation was made by an Italian actress and model in Los Angeles, who told the Los Angeles Times that Weinstein forced his way into her hotel room in 2013 and raped her.
For more on the Harvey Weinstein case, click here.
Images: Rex Features