Anne Hathaway has apologized to the disabled community for how "The Witches" has portrayed limb impairment. Taking to Instagram on Thursday, Hathaway, whose character, the Grand High Witch, is missing fingers on both her hands, said she had let people with disabilities down and was remorseful for doing so.
"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. "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. "
In recent days "The Witches," an adaption of Roald Dahl's 1983 children's book, has come under fire for associating villainous characters with physical disabilities. Hathaway said she was a firm believer in inclusivity and detested cruelty.
"I owe you all an apology for the pain caused," she wrote to people with disabilities in her Instagram post. "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. 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."
Earlier this week Warner Bros. issued a statement to Deadline stating that it had been "deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in 'The Witches' could upset people with disabilities" and that it "regretted any offense caused."
"It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them," Warner Bros. added.
The response came after several disability campaigners and organizations slammed "The Witches" for its portrayal of people with disabilities. Weighing in on the matter was the Paralympic Games, which stated in a tweet that "limb difference is not scary" but should be "celebrated," adding that "disability has to be normalised."
In a post to Instagram, disability advocate Shannon Crossland added: "Disability should NOT be associated with evil, abnormality, disgust, fear or monsters."
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