Anne Hathaway has issued an apology following The Witches backlash. Both Hathaway and Warner Bros. are apologizing to the disability community over the depiction of characters in the movie. Viewers took to social media to note that the characters' hands and feet in the movie featured differences that negatively portray limb disabilities. In The Witches, Hathaway's hands resemble the real-life condition called ectrodactyly (deficiency or absence of one or more central digits on the hands or feet), which people did not appreciate being associated with a villain character's physical attributes.
Warner Bros. was quick to release a statement once the "Not A Witch" hashtag started to trend on social media. "We the filmmakers and Warner Bros. Pictures are deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities, and regret any offense caused," said the studio in a statement. Now, Anne Hathaway is personally apologizing. She had this to say.
"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."
Anne Hathaway went on and said, "I particularly want to say I'm sorry to kids with limb differences: now that I know better I promise I'll do better." The actress' apology has been up for nearly 24 hours and has been gaining a lot of positive attention. "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."
The goal of Anne Hathaway's apology is to make sure that filmmakers are more mindful when developing characters and setting up for more inclusion in the entertainment industry. In addition to her apology, Hathaway posted a video from the Lucky Fin Project, which is an organization that "exists to raise awareness and celebrate children, individuals, and families affected by limb differences."
Disability advocate spoke out against The Witches several times. "Using disability as a costume and to highlight a character as a 'baddie.' Children with limb differences rarely get to see themselves represented truthfully. But instead get shown as scary monsters? Not what we need," she said ahead of the apologies from Warner Bros. and Anne Hathaway. You can check out the latest apology above, thanks to Anne Hathaway's Instagram account.