Anne Hathaway Apologizes After ‘Witches’ Backlash From Disability Community

Beatrice Verhoeven
·2-min read

Anne Hathaway has apologized to the disability community after her new film “The Witches” caused backlash due to the negative depiction of her character having a limb difference.

“I have recently learned that many people with limb differences, especially children, are in pain because of the portrayal of the Grand High Witch in ‘The Witches,'” Hathaway wrote on Instagram Thursday. “Let me begin by saying I do my best to be sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others not out of some scrambling PC fear, but because not hurting others seems like a basic level of decency we should all be striving for. As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused. I am sorry. I did not connect limb difference with the GHW when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened.”

She continued: “I particularly want to say I’m sorry to kids with limb differences: now that I know better I promise I’ll do better. And I owe a special apology to everyone who loves you as fiercely as I love my own kids: I’m sorry I let your family down.”

Also Read: 'The Witches' Sparks Backlash From Disability Community - and a Warner Bros. Apology

Hathaway’s villainous character in the film is at times seen with three webbed fingers on each hand, something that can happen naturally and is often referred to as “split hand,” or clinically as ectrodactyly or symbrachydactyly. Robert Zemeckis’ film was called out by Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren earlier this week, who said that “limb difference is not scary” and that disabilities should be celebrated and normalized.

Warner Bros. issued an apology to the disability community for the depiction of Hathaway’s character as having a “split hand,” something that disability advocates have said perpetuates a harmful trope that disabilities are scary and unnatural.

Also Read: 'The Witches' Film Review: Robert Zemeckis' Roald Dahl Remake Is Creepy But Superfluous

In the Roald Dahl novel on which the film is based, the witch characters are described as having “claws instead of fingernails” or “square feet with no toes,” but an illustration in the first edition of “The Witches” shows the witches with five fingers on each hand.

See Hathaway’s post below.

View this post on Instagram

I have recently learned that many people with limb differences, especially children, are in pain because of the portrayal of the Grand High Witch in The Witches. Let me begin by saying I do my best to be sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others not out of some scrambling PC fear, but because not hurting others seems like a basic level of decency we should all be striving for. As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused. I am sorry. I did not connect limb difference with the GHW when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened. I particularly want to say I’m sorry to kids with limb differences: now that I know better I promise I’ll do better. And I owe a special apology to everyone who loves you as fiercely as I love my own kids: I’m sorry I let your family down. If you aren’t already familiar, please check out the @Lucky_Fin_Project (video above) and the #NotAWitch hashtag to get a more inclusive and necessary perspective on limb difference.

A post shared by Anne Hathaway (@annehathaway) on Nov 5, 2020 at 11:11am PST

Read original story Anne Hathaway Apologizes After ‘Witches’ Backlash From Disability Community At TheWrap