Celebrity

Henry Cavill Apologizes After His Comments About Dating Received Serious Backlash

Last year, amidst the Harvey Weinstein scandal, actress Alyssa Milano started a movement that encouraged women who have been affected by sexual harassment or assault to write "me too" on their social media.

"My hope is people will get the idea of the magnitude, of just how many people have been affected by this in the world, in our lifetimes, in this country," Milano said in an interview with The Associated Press. "The most important thing that it did was to shift the conversation away from the predator and to the victim."

The initiative took off fast as it united millions of women around the world who have lived through similar experiences.

While some simply used the two words as a hashtag, others, including celebrities like America Ferrera, shared the harrowing details of what they have been through.

Since the movement took flight, there have been many conflicting opinions about what it means for people at different ends of spectrum.

While some people's thoughts about Me Too have been applauded, others have received some flack for their statements.

More recently, Man of Steel star Henry Cavill is at the receiving end of some serious backlash over comments he made about the movement in an interview with GQ Australia.

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The actor started by saying that "stuff has to change, absolutely, in terms of men's behavior," before adding, "It's important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things."

However, it was what he said next about dating in the Me Too era that infuriated so many people.

"There's something wonderful about a man chasing a woman," he said. "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."

He continued, "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 said. "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?"

Soon after the article was published, fans as well as social activists took to social media to express their disappointment in the way Cavill approached the topic.

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"Things that make me go . If your approaching to 'chasing' and/or talking to or picking up women leads you to be afraid a woman might accuse you of Rape and/or Sexual Assault this leads me to question your style of 'chasing' women," wrote one Twitter user.

"If you can’t tell the difference between talking to someone & sexually harassing someone, Cavill, you shouldn’t talk to them," read another tweet. "If you don’t think you can date without 'accidentally' assaulting them, *definitely* don’t date."

"No #HenryCavill no," wrote a Twitter user. "Where do I start with not only the exaggeration you will be accused of rape for flirting, but the issue with your need to want to chase women as it's a 'nice tradition' for you, a bit like fox hunting? Women do not need to be chased, we are human not prey."

Following the intense scrutiny, Cavill, who stars in the upcoming Mission: Impossible Fallout film, was forced to release a statement of apology. It read:

"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 read. "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," Cavill said. "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."

Despite it all, there were many women who took no issue with his initial comments and they also took to social media to show their support.

"#HenryCavill I understand where ur coming from," read a tweet from a sexual assault victim. "As a woman who has been raped and sexually assaulted I applaud u for YOUR honest opinion and YOUR honest feelings and willingness to open up like that. Pay no mind to the man eaters."

"#HenryCavill can woo me anytime," wrote a user. "I love the traditional old fashioned chase...shame the world has gone crazy!"

Another user noted, "I think it’s gentlemanly and refreshing to hear that there’s still guys left that like to court a woman. Stop taking what he said out of context #HenryCavill."

Do you think Cavill's comments are offensive? Let us know your thoughts.

Awa has been writing for Shared for 3 years. She is a serial snacker who unapologetically loves celebrity gossip. Drop her a line at awa@shared.com.