Anne Hathaway apologized on her social networks to the disability community after her latest film “The Witches” caused backlash due to the negative portrayal of persons with disabilities.
“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,” she wrote on Instagram.
“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’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.
In the movie, Anne Hathaway plays the iconic villain character (Grand High Witch) in Roald Dahl’s beloved 1983 children’s book, shown with hands similar to the limb abnormality ectrodactyly. Also referred to as “split hand,” it involves the deficiency or absence of one or more central fingers of the hand or foot.
Disability community slammed the portrayal as it helped perpetuate stereotypes that people with disabilities are abnormal or should be feared, pointing out that the original book did not portray the witches as having missing fingers.