Henry Cavill missed the point of #MeToo, but he isn’t alone


Henry Cavill has become the latest actor to offer his thoughts on the #MeToo movement. Unfortunately, it also sounds like he missed the point.

Henry Cavill is facing backlash over recent comments he made regarding the #MeToo movement. Not only did he essentially compare rape to flirting, but the actor also implied simply telling a woman she is attractive is enough to face backlash or negative press, all in an interview with GQ Australia.

Unsurprisingly, people had a field day with Cavill’s comments. Many were upset that the actor who won us over with his heroics as Superman seemed to not know the difference between harmless flirting and sexual harassment.

Since his initial remarks, Cavill has apologized and explained that he thinks there may have been some “editorial liberties” taken with what he said.

His statement was shared on social media via his rep. The full apology is below:

"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.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 problem that remains is Henry Cavill is another example of a prominent actor seemingly missing the point of #MeToo.

While Cavill has said that he fully supports the movement and the people stepping forward to share their stories, his initial words are reminiscent of Matt Damon’s own #MeToo comments in December of 2017. At the time, Damon said that “there’s a difference between patting someone on the butt and rape or child molestation.” This came along with him saying there needed to be a spectrum for allegations and overall harassment.

The reaction was swift and all around against Matt Damon and his words. However, it did not stop there. The actor continued to defend his words before pointing out there are plenty of men who don’t sexually harass others or rape them. According to Damon, they should be talked about too.

Ultimately it seems as if Damon realized the error of his words and apologized before essentially being quiet and letting others have the spotlight. Sadly, it seems as if Henry Cavill completely missed the example (both bad and somewhat good) that Matt Damon set before him.

However, the problem is not the men of Hollywood. It is Hollywood, and the sense of entitlement it gifts those at the top. Just take a look at the recent Scarlett Johansson backlash after taking on the role of a transgender man, and disregarding concerns over it by the trans community.

Henry Cavill and Matt Damon (and Scarlett Johansson) may be different scenarios, but they are all celebrities missing the point of movements and social progress. Social media is swift when it comes to being judge and jury over bad behavior; so while that Hollywood bubble may be sweet, it may prevent them from truly seeing beyond their words and actions (that is until a rep calls and tells them it is time to get it together and put out a statement).

The #MeToo movement and the scandals that have rocked Hollywood recently have set in motion a change in the way things are done, handled, and even spoken about. But this is only the beginning.

When both the men and women of Hollywood are part of the problem, it means that we all need to sit back and really think about how things need to change and what can be done to make it happen.

Henry Cavill may not have meant to compare flirting to rape, but unfortunately, that is exactly what his words implied. Matt Damon probably didn’t mean to make it sound like sexual harassment was less offensive than rape. Johansson may have good acting intentions for her ner role in Rub & Tug, but it is a role she should not be playing.

These actors have missed the point massively, and even with their apologies, one wonders if they truly see the error of their words, or if they are just trying to save themselves.

Related Story: Why would anyone make a #MeToo atonement series with Charlie Rose?

It is sad to think that Cavill or Damon or even Johansson could so badly miss the point that others are trying to make. Here’s hoping that other celebrities start paying attention, and learning from the mistakes of their peers.