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Why Anne Hathaway has apologized over her ‘The Witches’ role

Anne Hathaway has apologized for the limb difference for her role in ‘The Witches’

Anne Hathaway stars in “The Witches,” which will debut on HBO Max on Oct. 22.
Anne Hathaway stars in “The Witches,” which will debut on HBO Max on Oct. 22.
YouTube screenshot

Anne Hathaway said she will “do better” after facing criticism for how she portrayed limb difference in “The Witches.”

The setup:

“The Witches” is based off a 1983 book from Roald Dahl.

  • The witches in the book have three elongated fingers on each hand. The witches don’t have toes, either.


Recently, critics have slammed “The Witches” for being insensitive toward those who have hand and arm impairments.

  • “To me It sends out a message that we should be scared of people with missing fingers,” comedian Alex Brooker told BBC News.

Hathaway, Warner Bros. apologize

Hathaway apologized in an Instagram post earlier this week:

“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.

“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.

“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.”

Warner Bros. responded to the controversy, saying it was “deeply saddened” that the film “could upset people with disabilities.”

  • “We the filmmakers and Warner Bros. Pictures are deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in ‘The Witches’ could upset people with disabilities, and regret any offense caused.
  • “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, nonhuman 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.”