"Stuff has to change, absolutely," he said. "It’s important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things. 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."
Then he went on to imply that meeting new people is trickier in the days since the movement has gained steam.
"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 added, "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 comments sparked a fierce response on social media.
This is absurd. If Henry Cavill doesn’t want to be called a rapist then all he has to do is... not rape anyone.— Helen Price (@HelenRPrice) July 11, 2018
The mental gymnastics some men are doing to position themselves as “victims” of #MeToo is insane. pic.twitter.com/nafnZiaXGH
#henrycavill oh dear. Very poor choice of words. I like to think I know what he meant. Replace chased with court. Maybe say, the #metoo movement has affected the way I approach women. Has made me question my actions. Unsure of how my intentions will be perceived. Sound Better?— Rhonda En Route (@RhondaWoman) July 12, 2018
Poor Henry Cavill. I understood what he was trying to say. But only if he didn’t use certain words and phrased it differently, then maybe people would understand him too and not be calling him out. Nevertheless, I agree with his overall message.— Austin Ennest (@AustinEnnest) July 12, 2018
Cavill later apologized for the remarks, saying in a statement Thursday: "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.
"Never would I intend to disrespect in any way, shape or form," he continued. 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."