Anne Hathaway apologises for “pain caused” by ‘The Witches’ portrayal of limb impairments

"I’m sorry I let your family down."

Anne Hathaway has apologised for the “pain caused” by The Witches.

The actress, who plays the Grand High Witch in Robert Zemeckis’ recent remake, took to Instagram following criticism about the film’s portrayal of limb difference, as her character is given three fingers on both hands – going against the depiction in Roald Dahl’s original book.

“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 on Instagram.

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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. 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.

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“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.”

She continued: “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.”

Addressing those affected by limb differences, following criticism from a number of prominent campaigners from the disabled community, Hathaway said: “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 previously said in a statement: “It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them.”

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