Gerard Butler said it would have been “insensitive” to travel to Saudi Arabia for the film opening of “Hunter Killer” following journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.
“All I know is that when I woke up in the morning before we were supposed to go to Saudi Arabia, we were informed of what was happening and it just didn’t feel like a good time to be getting involved with that,” the 48-year-old actor said Monday during a Pentagon briefing.
The comments came in response to questions about why he cancelled his trip to Saudi Arabia, where he was scheduled to meet with the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has been accused of allegedly ordering Khashoggi’s murder, according to Fox News’s Jennifer Griffin.
“It would have felt incredibly insensitive to go to Saudi Arabia,” he added. “And even thought I felt very badly for the film company, because they, the Saudi film company, because they did all their work in good faith for us. And there was a lot of fans ready to come. But it just didn’t seem like a situation that we would want to get into.” (RELATED: Rand Paul Calls On Congress To Halt Arms Sales To Saudi Arabia Over Jamal Khashoggi Disappearance)
Butler continued, “And as that situation concluded then and, there are no definite answers, and it’s not for me to be coming up with solutions.”
When pressed by one reporter if “anybody from the U.S. Government or U.S. Navy” had asked him not to go. He replied, “No.”
At one point, Butler said he wanted to “thank the Navy for all their help because we couldn’t” have done the film without them.
“Or we could, but it would not have been a good movie,” the actor added. “But they were incredibly not just helpful, but gracious and kind. You were fantastic in hosting us in Pearl Harbor. It was a beautiful partnership.”
The movie description on IMDb read, “An untested American submarine captain teams with U.S. Navy Seals to rescue the Russian president, who has been kidnapped by a rogue general.”
The film hits theaters October 26.