‘Superman’ actor Henry Cavill has released a statement following controversial comments he made about the #MeToo movement, including that he is afraid to flirt with women for fear of being branded a rapist.
At one point, prompted by a conversation about the movement and men changing their behaviour towards women as a result, the actor brought up the topic of flirting, saying: “There’s something wonderful about a man chasing a woman. 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?’”
The comments were met with outrage with people sharing quotations and their views on them via Twitter:
Today it’s Henry Cavill with “I believe women should be chased”
When did the notion that being chased is a *pleasant* feeling become so universally accepted? pic.twitter.com/z6kQnCzVrF
— Grace Petrie 100% Official Tweets (@gracepetrie) July 12, 2018
This is absurd. If Henry Cavill doesn’t want to be called a rapist then all he has to do is... not rape anyone.
— Helen Price (@HelenRPrice) July 11, 2018
Good. Henry Cavill *SHOULDN'T* date until he figures out how to do it without "accidentally" raping someone. pic.twitter.com/RywLedYkpS
— Donna Dickens (@MildlyAmused) July 11, 2018
Brilliant thread by @HelenRPrice. What a fucking ridiculous statement from Henry Cavill and obviously very telling of his own takeaway of the #MeToo movement. The tone of exhaustion he cuts, disgusting, and the stats are terrifying, and ultimately what the true focus should be. https://t.co/xlGyGwweK4
— Charlie McEwan (@CharMcew) July 12, 2018
Cavill has since issued a statement that reads: “Having seen the reaction to an article, in particular about my feelings on dating and the #MeToo movement, I just wanted to apologise for any confusion and misunderstanding that this may have created.
“Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention. 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 whether it be friendship, professional, or a significant other. Never would I intend to disrespect in any way, shape or form.
“This experience has taught me a valuable lesson as to the context and the nuance of editorial liberties. I look forward to clarifying my position in the future towards a subject that is so vitally important and which I wholeheartedly support.”