Henry Cavill has apologised after he was criticised for comments he made in a recent interview about flirting with women.
The Superman actor made the comments during a recent interview with GQ Australia, where he was asked about what he’d learned from the #MeToo movement.D
During the interview, Cavill voices his concern about flirting in a post-#MeToo world in case “I’m going to be called a rapist or something”.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people who behave that way,” he said. “To my memory there’s been no moments where I look back and think, ‘Ooh, OK, maybe someone shouldn’t have gone through that’. I know there have been situations with people I’ve worked with being perhaps over-familiar with some of the actresses. But, I’ve always walked up to them and said, ‘Hey, are you all right? That’s creepy’.”
Now, he’s apologised for the remarks and “any confusion and misunderstanding” they may have caused.
“Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention,” he said in a statement.
“In light of this I would just like to clarify and confirm to all that I have always and will continue to hold women in the highest of regard, no matter the type of relationship.”
He also confirmed his support for the #MeToo movement.
In the original interview, Cavill was asked about whether #MeToo had made him reconsider his own behaviour towards women.
He replied: “I like to think that I’ve never been like that. I think any human being alive today, if someone casts too harsh a light on anything, you could be like, ‘Well, OK, yeah, when you say it like that, maybe.’
“But it’s such a delicate and careful thing to say because there’s flirting which, for example, in a social environment is in context – and is acceptable. And that has been done to me as well, in return.”
“Stuff has to change, absolutely,” he added in regards to men’s behaviour. “It’s important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things.
“There’s something wonderful about a man chasing a woman,” he continued. “There’s a traditional approach to that, which is nice. I think a woman should be wooed and chased, but maybe I’m old-fashioned for thinking that.
“It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place. Because then it’s like: ‘Well, I don’t want to go up and talk to her, because I’m going to be called a rapist or something’. So you’re like, ‘Forget it, I’m going to call an ex-girlfriend instead, and then just go back to a relationship, which never really worked’. But it’s way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell, because I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen?
“Now? Now you really can’t pursue someone further than, ‘No’. It’s like, ‘OK, cool’. But then there’s the, ‘Oh why’d you give up?’ And it’s like, ‘Well, because I didn’t want to go to jail?’”
Cavill’s comments have subsequently drawn criticism from some sections of social media – see a selection of the responses to the interview below:
This is absurd. If Henry Cavill doesn’t want to be called a rapist then all he has to do is… not rape anyone.
The mental gymnastics some men are doing to position themselves as “victims” of #MeToo is insane. pic.twitter.com/nafnZiaXGH
— Helen Price (@HelenRPrice) July 11, 2018
Wow Henry Cavill I am so utterly sorry that the #MeToo movement has inconvenienced you I am so so sorry… ? pic.twitter.com/iKu9nXXQXZ
— Ana (@anatessier08) July 11, 2018
#henrycavill said in his @GQMagazine interview that the #metoo movement has made him nervous to flirt because he doesn’t want to be called a rapist. He is basically saying that women are so sensitive that they can’t even handle someone flirting with them. Superman can suck it.
— Amy Rebollar (@amyrebollar) July 11, 2018
Back in March, Cavill was also forced to respond after online reports suggested he had died.