Henry Cavill has attempted to row back on controversial comments he made regarding dating in the post-#MeToo age in a recent interview, saying he “doesn’t want to flirt in case he gets called a rapist”.
The British actor came under fire for recent comments he made to GQ Australia, when asked about the #MeToo movement and the sexual abuse scandal in Hollywood that triggered it.
Regarding his own behaviour, Cavill said: “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’.”
“I’m someone in the public eye, and if I go and flirt with someone, then who knows what’s going to happen. 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?’”
Reaction to his comments then proceeded to blow up on Twitter this week, with many women expressing disbelief that he seemed not to be able to tell the difference between welcome flirting and unacceptable harassment.
“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,” the 35 year old said in a statement to the Press Association.
“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… I look forward to clarifying my position in the future towards a subject that is so vitally important and which I wholeheartedly support.”