Henry Cavill has issued an apology for his controversial comments over the #MeToo movement. The Justice League and Mission Impossible: Fallout star landed in hot water this week when he made some remarks about the recent feminist movement that originated in Hollywood and has since spread across the entire globe, triggering a wave of backlash that has pressured the actor to take a few steps back and apologize.
The #MeToo movement began last year with an exposé that detailed a wide number of sexual assault allegations made against famous producer Harvey Weinstein by women in Hollywood. Since the story surrounding Weinstein broke, a growing list of actors have begun to step forward with their own experiences of sexual assault while working in the film and television industry. Their stories inspired #MeToo, a feminist movement that is demanding a stop to the rampant abuses of power within Hollywood. Nor is the movement restricted to just women: one of the most moving stories of #MeToo involves Terry Crews, who recently testified before the US Senate with the story of how he has also been a victim of the sexual assault epidemic seen by Hollywood.
The controversy with Henry Cavill first began earlier this week when excerpts from an interview Cavill had with GQ Australia spread online. When he was asked on his feelings surrounding the #MeToo movement, Cavill admitted that men’s behavior “has to change,” but the actor also stated that he is a fan of “traditional” dating moves that members of the #MeToo movement may not be such big fans of. He explained, “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. 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’” This proved to Cavill’s most controversial comment, and the issue quickly grew to a size where the actor could not longer ignore it come Thursday.
Cavill later issued a statement to The Huffington Post apologizing for his comments. The actor chalked up his statements to “editorial liberties” and explained that he had no intention of disrespecting #MeToo, a movement which he supports. “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,” Cavill stated. “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.”
With all of this momentum behind the movement, #MeToo has become an unprecedented force of nature that is certainly changing the face of Hollywood. It has encouraged many stars to reevaluate their behavior and past experiences – Henry Cavill included. Considering his involvement in high-profile blockbuster franchises like Justice League or Mission Impossible: Fallout, it’s hard to imagine that the comments will seriously impact Cavill’s status in Hollywood. Nevertheless, the interview may have still cost him some fans.
Cavill has issued an apology and owned the mistakes he made with the GQ Australia interview, but the truth remains that the #MeToo movement has politicized Hollywood in brand new ways. Henry Cavill has learned in real time that the film and television industry has changed radically all around the world and that behavior and statements that once went unnoticed or ignored now make headlines and can even halt entire careers, as in the case of Kevin Spacey. As his latest comments reflect, this controversy has taught Cavill a very important lesson.