News and Commentary

Henry Cavill Caves, Apologizes For #MeToo Comments

Apparently, Superman now has two weaknesses: Kryptonite and online outrage mobs.

Henry Cavill, who plays the Man of Steel in the DC Universe films, apologized on Friday for comments he had made earlier in the week to GQ Australia regarding the #MeToo movement. In a statement to CNN, Cavill said he realized, after the backlash, that what he said was insensitive.

“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,” the “Mission Impossible” actor wrote.

“Insensitivity was absolutely not my intention,” he added. “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.”

Finally, he said: “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 [sic] so vitally important and in which I wholeheartedly support.”

This experience probably also taught him not to go against the prevailing narrative.

Cavill had originally stated to GQ that in light of the #MeToo movement, men’s behavior has to change, and that he had “been fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people who behave that way.”

But Cavill also said the movement made him wary of approaching women for fear that an innocent interaction may lead to an extreme accusation.

“It’s very difficult to do that if there are certain rules in place,” Cavill said. “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.’”

Cavill’s comments were not as out-of-line as the outrage mob would have one believe. In addition to calling out sexual abuse and harassment, #MeToo has also provided many with petty grievances an outlet to attempt to destroy the careers of those they believe have wronged them in some way.

Pulitzer-Prize winner Junot Diaz nearly had his career derailed by women caught up in the #MeToo movement who greatly exaggerated their claims. One woman claimed she was yelled at by Diaz during a dinner argument and said it was “verbal sexual assault.” Another claimed he responded to her criticism with “a blast of misogynist rage and public humiliation.” An audio recording of the encounter showed nothing of the sort.

Then there are the recent claims against Billboard CEO John Amato, which (unless there are worse unpublished accusations) amount to him inappropriately flirting with non-staffers at events and boasting about an alleged sexual encounter with celebrities at a staff dinner. For this he was pushed out.

When an argument can be considered “verbal sexual assault,” it’s no wonder men like Cavill worry about approaching a woman.