Representation of people with disabilities in “The Witches”
Anne Hathaway apologizes
Friday, November 6th, 2020 | 14:10
After her new film “The Witches” was criticized for implying that people with different limbs are like witches, the actress has now apologized. Previously, the responsible studio, Warner Bros., had also done this.
In “The Witches”, the American actress Anne Hathaway plays one of the main characters, a witch with only three fingers on her hands. As the “Spiegel” explains, this malformation is similar to the disease ectrodactyly. Both Warner Bros. and Hathaway themselves have now responded to criticism from people who actually suffer from the disease or who have malformed limbs due to other causes.
Fantastic and not human figure
A statement from the studio said, “We, the filmmakers and Warner Bros. Pictures, are deeply dismayed that our portrayal of fictional characters in ‘The Witches’ has hurt people with disabilities, and we regret it.” one did not want to represent real people with the cat-like hand of the witch. Instead, she should be seen as a clearly fantastic and non-human figure.
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Anne Hathaway reached out to her followers on Instagram with a video from the non-profit organization “Lucky Fin Project”, which advocates equality for people with different limbs. She explained that she was also unaware that one could see connections between her character and real disabilities.
She apologized to everyone who was hurt by this portrayal. “As someone who is very inclusive and who really, really hates cruelty, I owe everyone an apology for the pain I have caused. I’m sorry, “writes the actress on the platform.
Many people with different limbs had previously expressed their displeasure with the film on Twitter under the hashtag #notawitch. Among them was British Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren. She feared that this portrayal of limbs other than creepy or evil could lead to “new, difficult discussions” opening up for those affected. She also saw it as a step backwards towards the goal of celebrating yourself for who you are.