Anne Hathaway apologises for the depiction of limb differences in The Witches

Zoe Shenton
·2-min read
Photo credit: Owen Hoffmann/Getty
Photo credit: Owen Hoffmann/Getty

From Cosmopolitan

Anne Hathaway has apologised for "the pain caused" to people with limb differences by her character in the latest adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel The Witches. The film, which stars Hathaway as the Grand High Witch, features characters who have three elongated fingers on each hand and toe-less feet.

The movie has faced mounting criticism following it's release on October 26th. Earlier this week, British Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren tweeted Warner Bros, saying it was upsetting to see "something that makes a person different being represented as something scary".

Echoing Amy's statement, the official Twitter account for the Paralympic Games wrote, "Limb difference is not scary. Differences should be celebrated and disability has to be normalised."

Taking to social media last night, Hathaway apologised for "the pain caused" while sharing a video from Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit that aims to raise awareness and celebrate children, individuals, and families affected by limb differences.

The actor said she "did not connect limb difference with the GHW [Grand High Witch] when the look of the character was brought" to her. "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."

Warner Bros also issued a statement following the backlash, saying the studio was "deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities."

The spokesperson added, "In adapting the original story, we worked with designers and artists to come up with a new interpretation of the cat-like claws that are described in the book. It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them. This film is about the power of kindness and friendship. It is our hope that families and children can enjoy the film and embrace this empowering, love-filled theme."

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