KARACHI: Best known for playing the role of Superman, actor Henry Cavill found himself in quite hot waters on Thursday 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.
One Twitter user pointed out that being “chased” or pursued never translated into a pleasant feeling.
They wrote: “When did the notion that being chased is a *pleasant* feeling become so universally accepted?”
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.
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.
“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 toward a subject that is so vitally important and in which I wholeheartedly support,” he added.