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Actor sorry for ‘insensitive’ #MeToo remark lauding ‘traditional’ dating where women are ‘wooed’

Actor Henry Cavill is sorry after making what many considered to be an insensitive remark toward the #MeToo movement. (Emma McIntyre/Getty Images)

Actor Henry Cavill simply prefers traditional dating in which men are allowed to woo and charm and chase women — and he's facing backlash as a result of his stance.

What did he say?

In comments made to GQ Australia, the 35-year-old "Superman" actor expressed his appreciation for "traditional" dating.

During the interview, which was published on Tuesday, GQ Australia's Adam Baidawi asked Cavill his thoughts on the #MeToo movement, and what he, as a male actor, feels that he's learned.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people who behave that way," Cavill answered. "To my memory there’s been no moments where I look back and think, ‘Ooh, OK, maybe someone shouldn’t have gone through that.’ 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.'

“But it’s such a delicate and careful thing to say because there’s flirting which, for example, in a social environment is in context – and is acceptable. And that has been done to me as well, in return,” Cavill added.

Further addressing men's behavior in and outside of the entertainment industry, Cavill adds, “Stuff has to change, absolutely. It’s important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things.”

He added, “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.”

Cavill went further and noted that such dating rules seemingly — and unofficially — imposed by the #MeToo movement have perhaps hampered traditional dating.

“It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place," he explained. "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.'"

"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?" he rhetorically asked. “Now? 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?’”

How have people responded to his remarks?

Many social media users castigated Cavill's remarks, pulling out the old "if you don't want to be called a rapist, then don't rape" mantra that many are keen to use in today's hyper-charged #MeToo environment, completely ignoring the context of his remarks about traditional dating.

Some came to his defense, however, noting that he isn't wrong for his perspective on old-fashioned dating.

You can see some of the backlash — as well as support — here, both of which ramped up enough to the point where Cavill had to clarify his remarks and issue an apology as a result.

What's he saying now?

Cavill addressed the controversy and issued an apology via manager Dany Garcia on Twitter.

On Twitter, Garcia shared Cavill's statement, which 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."

"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," Cavill's statement continued.

The statement added, "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," the statement concluded, "signed" by Cavill.

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