Henry Cavill sparks backlash by saying that #MeToo movement has left him 'too scared' to flirt

Natasha Sporn
Controversial: Henry Cavill commented on the #MeToo movement in a recent interview: Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Actor Henry Cavill has been criticised for comments made in a recent interview, saying that he “doesn’t want to flirt in case he gets called a rapist”.

The Superman lead has come under fire from fans after his interview with GQ Australia was published where he talks about the Hollywood sexual abuse scandal and subsequent #MeToo movement.

Asked whether it has made him reflect on his own behaviour, Cavill told the publication: “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.

Backlash: Henry Cavill's comments have come under fire on social media (PA)

“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 went on to say that it was “easier” to go back to an old flame rather than “cast himself into the fires of hell”.​

Cavill added: “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?’”

One Twitter user drew particular attention to the comments, sparking a big only conversation on the topic with some fans declaring him “cancelled” and “trying to make himself a victim”. Other users urged him to apologise for comments but were less scathing in their critique.

Cavill later issued a statement to the Press Association, seeking to clarify his comments and apologising for "confusion and misunderstanding".

He said: "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."

The 35-year-old is back on the big screen this month in action thriller Mission: Impossible – Fallout, starring alongside Tom Cruise and Rebecca Ferguson.