Henry Cavill has drawn criticism after he spoke of his hesitancy to approach women during the age of #MeToo in a GQ Australia profile published Tuesday.
The Man of Steel and Mission: Impossible – Fallout star was asked what he's learned from this moment in Hollywood's reckoning with sexual depredation in the industry, to which he replied, "I’ve been fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people who behave that way."
"To my memory there’s been no moments where I look back and think, 'Ooh, OK, maybe someone shouldn’t have gone through that,'" Cavill said.
"I know there have been situations with people I’ve worked with being perhaps overfamiliar with some of the actresses. But, I’ve always walked up to them and said, ‘Hey, are you all right? That’s creepy.'"
The star, who believes in the "traditional" approach to dating — in which women are "wooed and chased" — was pressed to reflect on his own interactions with women. "I like to think that I’ve never been like that," Cavill said.
Later, Cavill expressed his reluctance to go about the "old-fashioned" way of courting in the tide of #MeToo, saying, “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,'" He said.
"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?"
The actor added that in today's climate, "You can't really 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?'"
In a statement to BuzzFeed News, the actor said: "Having seen the reaction to an article in particular about my feelings on dating and the #MeToo movement, I just wanted to apologize for any confusion and misunderstanding that this may have created."
"Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention," the statement continued.
"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 it so vitally important and in which I wholeheartedly support."