Monday, 9 November 2020

Anne Hathaway Apologizes To The Disability Community Amid Backlash In The Witches Role

Anne Hathaway has apologized for negatively portraying those with limb differences while playing the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis’ recent adaptation of THE WITCHES.

“I am sorry,” the Oscar winner wrote in a statement posted to Instagram Thursday. “I did not connect limb difference with the GHW [Grand High Witch] when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened.”

The disability community reacted to the now-streaming film with disappointment, sadness and outrage at the use of the character’s three-fingered hands to indicate evil.

“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 in her statement.

“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 [politically correct] fear, but because not hurting others seems like a basic level of decency we should all be striving for,” Hathaway wrote. “As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused.”

In the 1983 children’s fantasy novel on which last month HBO Max remake is based, author Roald Dahl described an identifying trait of his fictional witches having “thin curvy claws, like a cat.”

In a statement to @Variety Wednesday, Warner Bros. also apologized, stating, “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.”

Some in the disabled community noted that Hathaway’s character appears to have ectrodactyly, a limb difference sometimes called “split hand.” There’s concern that “The Witches,” as a family film, could contribute to stereotypes that disabilities are negative or frightening.

Source: LAtimes, Twitter
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