Well known for playing the role of Superman, On Thursday Hollywood actor Henry Cavill found himself in quite hot waters after he issued concerning remarks about the #MeToo movement.
When GQ Australia asked him during an interview what he thought of flirting in the present day, especially in light of #MeToo and #TimesUp movements, Cavill said: “It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place.”
Explaining that he would rather woo and chase women because he believes in “old-fashioned” ways, he noted that the current-day environment has made him quite apprehensive about approaching women, even if it was light-hearted flirting.
“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,” he said.
“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’,” he added.
As if this was not enough of a worrisome statement, he proceeded to say choosing not to flirt was “way safer than casting myself into the fires of hell”.
“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’,” he commented, adding: “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?’”
Unsurprisingly, social media flared up at the Superman star’s comments, which implied that women, perhaps, were unable to differentiate between someone being interested in them and sexual assault.
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
— Jameela Jamil (@jameelajamil) July 12, 2018
One Twitter user pointed out that being “chased” or pursued never translated into a pleasant feeling.
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
They wrote: “When did the notion that being chased is a *pleasant* feeling become so universally accepted?”
Here’s the thing….
I do think a lot of women are taking the Me Too movement too far. Like a guy can accidentally brush a lady’s boob and suddenly his entire life is over. So I get where Henry Cavill is coming from.
The way he said it was insensitive imo
— Aunt Lizzy to 👶Maggie Mulder (@PrettyGirlBeMe) July 12, 2018
Another stayed on the fence, being neutral, saying: “I do think a lot of women are taking the Me Too movement too far” but “the way [Cavill] said it was insensitive imo [in my opinion]”.
Some others, on the other hand, defended Cavill by claiming that those outraged by the actor’s comments were, in turn, proving him right by being angered.
I’m a female and I understand why Henry Cavill may feel afraid to approach women in this day. And your overreactions are basically proving him right..
— Claudia Balboa (@stargazer0118) July 12, 2018
Y’all Henry Cavill said that he backs off the second a woman says no because if you choose to pursue after that it’s sexual assault. Now y’all are just twisting his words damn.
— shilpa 🤷🏾♀️ (@shilpaa_rajesh) July 11, 2018
All the people twisting Henry Cavill’s words should be ashamed of themselves. The guy’s is legitimately worried about being exploited, or having his career trashed, by someone willing to make a false allegation. It’s a real fear these days.
— Of Nature and Wild Places (@TheOldSchoolGM) July 12, 2018
Later, after the inevitable backlash, Cavill issued a statement via his representative to apologise for his comments in the GQ interview.
In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor said he “wanted to apologize for any confusion and misunderstanding”.
“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 regard, no matter the type of relationship, whether it be friendship, professional or a significant other,” Cavill said.