Henry Cavill gave a dumb non-apology for wallowing in rape culture

'Justice League' film premiere, Arrivals, Los Angeles

Henry Cavill’s GQ Australia interview was not good. It was actually painful to read his rant about the Me Too movement and how men should be able to say “hi” to women without being accused of rape. It was a dark look into the seemingly innocuous-looking face of rape culture. Here’s Superman saying sh-t like “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’.” You can read a recap of that and other garbage statements from Cavill here.

So, obviously, there was a huge problem. His publicist realized there was a huge problem as soon as the interview went online. Within the same 24-hour news cycle, Cavill issued an apology through his rep (meaning: it was written by his publicist):

After those comments were met with backlash, Henry Cavill’s rep issued a statement to The Hollywood Reporter in which the actor said he “wanted to apologize for any confusion and misunderstanding” that his comments may have caused. 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 said in his Thursday statement.

The actor 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.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

“This experience has taught me a valuable lesson as to the context and the nuance of editorial liberties.” So brave of him to blame his dumb rape culture bulls–t on the magazine writer who, you know, just sat there and asked him questions and likely recorded him saying all of it. This wasn’t just one sentence that was misquoted either – he went on for nearly a page, talking about dating and his philosophy about “chasing women” and pursuing women even if they didn’t show any interest. He has some really f–ked up thoughts about rape, harassment, sexual relations and courtship and it’s not just an editorial quirk.

Women in Film & TV Awards

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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35 Responses to “Henry Cavill gave a dumb non-apology for wallowing in rape culture”

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  1. Lf says:

    I guess this is why he’s still single. Dumb and immature.

  2. Enormous Coat says:

    Not really sure why he’s a thing. He’s like a caricature of a hunk. I don’t follow his career, but isn’t he usually gross? I’m not surprised that he’s a card carrying member of the Boohoo brigade.

    • isabelle says:

      His looks, that is the only reason.

    • the Spiral says:

      Yeah he’s been saying gross things for a while now, but I guess he decided his career wasn’t lame enough already and he needed to double down.

  3. Whattajabroni says:

    I’d expect nothing less. He looks like a dumb jock..boring and lacks charisma. How he is an actor is beyond me.

  4. Gaby says:

    These men think life is a 1930′s movie where the likes of Katherine Hepburn’s characters were “ball-busters”, strong minded, career focused women, and all they needed was a “stolen/forced kiss” to mellow and become a kitten because all they ever really wanted was a man strong enough to tame them, so even though the woman would say no at first, they never really meant it, because men knew better.
    So nowadays, when a woman says NO, they can’t force her to prove *TO HER* that she actually wants to say yes.
    So I guess we really did lose all the charm of a time when a woman’s rights over her own body were inexistent.

    • Neelyo says:

      That’s why I always hated the Tracy/Hepburn movies. It was always about him proving his dominance. She and Cary Grant were much better together and they were equals.

      • Jane Q. Doe says:

        YES, Neelyo! I’ve always said the same thing – Hepburn and Grant were far better suited, she and Tracy (whatever their off-screen relationship) gave me the creeps.

  5. CommentingBunny says:

    Wasn’t he the one who literally dated a teenager while he was in his 30s? Soooooo…

    Whenever anyone complains about “not being able to flirt anymore” all I hear is: “I pressure and manipulate women into saying yes, and I don’t see anything wrong with that and niether should anyone else.” And I usually picture them stamping their feet after they say it.

    • Anna says:

      Yes. That was a huge red flag. Adult men (read: thirties and older) do not date teenage girls unless they want someone to control. I don’t care how “mature” the girl claims to be. It’s an issue of life experience.

  6. grabbyhands says:

    So pretty. So very, very dumb.

    And it makes me angry, because I think this type of willful stupidity is even more poisonous and insidious than some idiot caveman shouting textbook sexist claptrap.

    This is the face of the guy who says shit like “But I’m a nice guy! Why do these whores keep misunderstanding what I’m doing? I’m just trying to be ROMANTIC and PURSUE you and you just scream rape!!!”. Men who are allowed to walk away from brutalizing a woman because they just got carried away and didn’t mean anything – they were just so in love, you know and didn’t get that the other party wasn’t interested and by the way, if they didn’t want it all they had to do was say so, you know? It can be so confusing when a woman friend zones you.

    I don’t necessarily think that Henry Cavill would do the above, but his words are the ugly excuse every guy who DOES uses.

    If you don’t know the difference between flirting and rape, then you’re probably too stupid to leave your house alone.

    • bitchyarchitect says:

      @grabby hands-this is such a great line-’if you don’t know the difference between flirting and rape, then you’re probably too stupid to leave your house alone’ I am now going to use this any time some douchebro complains about flirting/me too/ feminism. I might additionally suggest a baby sitter for said douchbro.

  7. geekychick says:

    what I found especially disgusting was this feeling of persecution of men: HE likes to chase, but now he won’t be able anymore. What will he do now when the woman says no? Listen to her?! outrageous! Unheard of!
    Women are here to be chased and hunted, like animals.
    if your first reaction to a movement that acknowlodges the fact that more than half of human population of the planet was mistreated, manhandled and opressed for more than a thousand years is not to support the vulnerable, but to whine how that affects your toxic and chauvinistic views, you got a serious problem of WHITE MALE PRIVILEGE.
    and seriously, I am tired of the apologies. I am. We are bot obligated to accept an apology. We are not obligated to change our opinion just because your publicist wrote 3 dumb sentences.

    • the Spiral says:

      But you don’t understand, he’s just an “old fashioned” guy! Things were so much more romantic in the good old days, when women couldn’t complain when you “chased” them and it was legal to beat your wife!

  8. Caffenatedwench says:

    Might I suggest a new phrase- “to Cavill”. Kind of an inverse Longbottom, where ones hotness declines in proportion to their fame/exposure. “He used to be hot af in The Tudors, but has really Cavilled and now I can’t stand him.”

    • Lizzie says:

      ‘Cavil’ is indeed already a verb meaning to make petty or unnecessary objections! It’s perfect!

  9. SM says:

    Yes, nothing changed from yesterday, he is a dum dum who is incapable to understand the difference between wooing someone and raping someone. Also I understod he had a manager or someone with a brain to sit in through the interview. What is alarming that the people who are suppossed to control this, let this happen. I am sure it not out of intention to harm their client, rather that whatever crap he said did not ring any bells before there was a backlash? Man, we haven’t moved far in a year…
    I have a feeling Henry is one of those men who thinks that saying crap like “sexy doll” is wooing and commenting on appearances – the highest display of romance.

    • the Spiral says:

      Exactly. I don’t feel bad for him in the slightest, he has it easier than most men and he’s still boo hooing. Most women would be flattered if a rich handsome movie star approached them. If they’re feeling creeped out instead, that’s 100% HIS FAULT. He needs to reassess why “chasing” (i.e. harassing) women isn’t working out for him, not blame women for giving him honest feedback on his creepy behavior.

  10. Thea says:

    White men can get away with a lot more than black men. Don’t forget black men were lynched for merely looking at women. But anyone can be an asshole even women. But this whining seems to be particularly a speciality of white men

    • Anna says:

      Yeah, I noticed that too. His “old fashioned” comment really glosses over a lot aspects of history, without even including the obvious rape culture aspect.

  11. Harryg says:

    I can’t stand him.

  12. Annaloo. says:

    Not so super, man.

  13. Jess says:

    So gross. On a bigger scale, with regard to his comments about chasing women, I’ve noticed lately how many movies have that as a theme – a man harassed and stalks a woman until she finally falls in love with him (Just saw that in Major League and there’s an old Albert Brooks movie that’s supposed to be a romance (I’m blanking on the name) but is really a horror movie about a stalker if you watch it now). Talk about a bad message to send.

  14. Kate says:

    He showed his a$$ in that interview and that is not an apology. That said, I’m thinking ahead to what to teach my now 1-year old son in negotiating the fine line between flirting and being a creep. For example, the first time I met my husband when we were in college on my first day of work at a restaurant, he said hi and then picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and ran around the restaurant with me. I liked it because he was hot. If I were telling this story to my son I’d have to tell him that it’s not okay to touch a woman much less throw her over your shoulder without knowing her and if she would like it. But the takeaway from his parents’ “meet cute” story is that it’s ok if the guy is attractive.

    Henry Cavill is, objectively, hot. He’s probably accustomed to women being receptive to his flirting. How does he (or any guy) reconcile the stories he hears from women who said they were actually uncomfortable with a man’s advances but didn’t know how to politely extricate themselves, with his own experiences of being pretty sure a girl was into it b/c she was smiling and laughing? I’m genuinely trying to work through this for future educational purposes for my son (and my husband who I’m sure will try to pass on his flirting advice to our son one day, lol) so any advice you guys have is appreciated.

    For starters I have already been educating my young daughter (and my husband) that if she doesn’t want anyone touching her (including us when we are trying to give her hugs or whatever) she should say “please don’t touch me.” And I will teach my son to respect that and to do the same when he’s old enough to understand. But if a woman/girl isn’t saying no, go away, or outright looking uncomfortable, how do you explain to men/boys about how to pursue and flirt respectfully? Maybe I should work out a “Do’s and Don’ts list” lol

    • Amy Too says:

      Enthusiastic consent. If your son or husband or any guy is flirting or trying something with a woman, and she does not respond with enthusiasm, then they need to stop and back off. You may also want to talk to them about the order in which flirting should progress. You start with talking, introducing yourself, joking, etc. If she responds enthusiastically, you may move on to asking her out, touching her hand, shoulder, back. If she responds enthusiastically, you continue on to putting your arm around her/hugging, etc. And then kissing, and making out, and touching in more sexual ways. Because no one should start with touching someone to see if they’re interested. That’s when problems occur. Because while one woman may be okay with it and consent, another will consider that to be a legitimate assault on her body. I don’t think these concepts are that difficult. Do things in the proper order and do not continue on to the next step unless you are met with enthusiastic consent to the previous step. No one is going to end up in trouble or accused of harassment/assault if they start out introducing themselves and trying to have a non-sexual conversation. If a woman is not interested, then the man can back away and leave the situation without having done anything that is creepy or illegal. If she is responding with interest (real interest, not just a lack of saying “go away!”), then he can move on to the next logical step of maybe touching her hand with his hand. If the woman is not interested, she will move her hand, and still the man has not done anything that was illegal or creepy. The problems come when men start with the wrong step: like walking up to a woman and grabbing her ass. Or when they do not stop if the woman is not showing enthusiasm and they repeatedly continue trying to ask her out or touch her in an attempt to get her to change her mind and suddenly become interested in him or what he wants to do. So if boys can be taught to follow the appropriate steps in the correct order, look for enthusiastic consent at each step and not continue on to the next step until they’ve gotten it, and also respect a woman when she says no or is not interested, then I can’t think of any situation when he would be offensive, creepy, or get into any kind of trouble socially or legally.

      • Kate says:

        Boom! That’s awesome! Thank you for putting that so clearly. I am putting that in my “notes” in my phone to educate guys when they try to pull the Henry Cavill “but what ever happened to good ol’ fashioned flirting?” complaint.

  15. susiecue says:


  16. the Spiral says:

    This guy is such a colossal dumb dumb I only read his quotes for comic relief now. “Boo hoo, why can’t we go back to the ‘old fashioned’ times (i.e. rape culture) when it was ok to ‘chase’ (i.e. harass) women and beat your wife??” Also if you don’t want people to mistake you for a rapist, that mustache isn’t helping honey.

  17. Norman Garza says:

    Male entitlement at it’s worst. Good poster child for “Proud Boys”.

  18. RspbryChelly says:

    This is Superman??? Fk me…Christopher Reeve we need you back!!!!! Teach these young fools something 😩

  19. JFerber says:

    Can’t act. Can’t think. Over-privileged, Brit pretty boy. Go home forever.

  20. Yes Doubtful says:

    Unfortunately there are many men like him who think this way. They use the extreme (and stupid) example of not being able to talk to a woman at all. They are totally clueless on how to be respectful and professional. I wonder how long it will take before women come forward on this guy? He must have some skeletons if he is this opinionated about a subject he knows nothing about.

  21. HooHoo says:

    For a quick minute I thought that was Clayne Crawford in the lead photo.

  22. JaneEyre says:

    Just popping in to say that I’ve been reading this site for years, and in the last few months it’s become a real source of strength and place of validation for me. There are such diverse voices here and the commenting community, in general, treats one another with grace and respect. So though I don’t actively comment (lurker for life!) I just wanted you all to know that in these dark times reading the nuanced opinions of strong women means a lot to me. Thank you for that. (And to Kaiser and Celebitchy for the work you do!)