Superman Henry Cavill has apologised for remarks he made about the #MeToo movement in a recent magazine interview, in which he stated he's terrified to talk to women for fear of being labelled a "rapist".
The British actor was quick to respond to online backlash following a chat with GQ Australia, when he suggested flirting has become such a "delicate and careful thing" in the current climate.
In an apology sent to the Huffington Post, Henry writes: "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," he adds. "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."
In the newly-published online article, the Brit admitted he now hesitates to flirt with women, because he fears backlash from women's rights activists, keen to expose male celebrities who go too far.
The Man Of Steel star insisted flirting with the wrong woman would be like "casting myself into the fires of hell", adding he has never had to deal with the type of on set and behind-the-scenes sexual misconduct that helped spark the #MeToo anti-harassment movement, which launched last year (17).
"(I'm) fortunate enough to not be around the kind of people that behave that way," he told GQ Australia. "(I have been in) 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 (women), 'Hey, are you all right? That's creepy'."
And Cavill likes to think he has never been "like that", adding, "I think any human being alive today, if someone casts too harsh a light on anything, you could be like, 'Well, OK, yeah, when you say it like that, maybe'."
The actor then moved on to confess flirting has become such a "delicate and careful thing", while insisting that the way men treat women in the workplace and beyond has to change.
"It's important to also retain the good things, which were a quality of the past, and get rid of the bad things," he said, adding, "(There is) 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.
"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'. 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'."