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Anne Hathaway apologises for portrayal of limb difference in The Witches

Anne Hathaway has released an apology, after the portrayal of her character’s hands in The Witches received criticism online.

The actress recently starred as the Grand High Witch in the 2020 film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s famous book.

In the film, her character is portrayed with three fingers on each hand, which has been likened to Ectrodactyly, a limb abnormality otherwise known as ‘split hand’.

The movie was slammed for depicting limb differences as “scary”, and Anne has since apologised for any pain that was caused.

Taking to Instagram, the actress shared a video from nonprofit organisation Lucky Fin Project, which celebrates people affected by limb differences, and wrote: “Big thanks to the @Lucky_Fin_Project for allowing me to use this video.”

“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.”

Anne continued: “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.”


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“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,” she wrote.

“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.”

Anne released an apology after Warner Bros. shared a statement addressing the backlash.

A studio representative said: “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,” they added.


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