Anne Hathaway apologizes for ‘causing pain’ to disabled people after playing villain with split hands in The Witches – The Sun

ANNE Hathaway has apologized to the disabled community after playing an evil character with limb differences in her new film, The Witches.

The actress, 37,  has faced backlash for playing a witch with three fingers on each hand and toe-less feet in the new adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1983 book.

Critics and disability advocates accused the film of demonizing people with split hands, or ectrodactyly.

Anne responded to the outrage with a statement on Instagram on Thursday, saying she was sorry for the "pain caused" to disabled people.

The Les Miserables star added that she "detests cruelty" and that she "did not connect limb difference with the GHW [Grand High Witch] when the look of the character was brought" to her.

She began: "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 – who has two children with husband Adam Shulman – went on: "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 [Grand High Witch] when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened."

She added: "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.

"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 shared a clip from Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit supporting those with limb differences.

The Witches sparked widespread backlash for its depiction of limb differences after its release last month.

Swimmer Amy Marren, who won a bronze medal at the 2016 Paralympic Games, asked if "there was much thought given as to how this representation of limb differences would effect the limb difference community".

British comedian Alex Brooker said: "To me it sends out a message that we should be scared of people with missing fingers."

The Lucky Fin Project itself criticized the movie and started a petition to boycott its viewing.


The International Paralympic Committee created the hashtag "#NotAWitch" on social media to unify the disabled community.

Critics pointed out that the witches didn't have split hands in Roald Dahl's book, or in the 1990 film starring Angelica Huston.

Dahl described the witches as having claws rather than fingernails, but made no mention of missing fingers.

Warner Bros apologized last week over the portrayal of the witches, saying they were "deeply saddened" to learn Robert Zemeckis's film "could upset people with disabilities".

"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," the statement said.

"It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them."



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