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Anne Hathaway apologises to children with limb differences following ‘The Witches’ remake


By Erin Lindsay
06th Nov 2020
Anne Hathaway apologises to children with limb differences following ‘The Witches’ remake

A number of influencers with limb differences drew attention to the issue on social media


Actress Anne Hathaway has apologised to children with limb differences who may have been upset by her portrayal of the Grand High Witch in the latest remake of Roald Dahl’s The Witches.

In the new edition of the story, Hathaway’s character has ectrodactyly, or ‘split hands’ – a condition that involves the deficiency or absence of one or more of the central digits of the hands or feet. This characteristic was not featured in the original story, where witches can be recognised by, among other things, being bald, having no toes, and having blue spit.

Following the release of the trailer for the movie, a number of influencers with limb differences took to Instagram to draw attention to the portrayal. Many used the hashtag #NotaWitch to raise awareness of ectrodactyly and to show their limb differences in a more positive light.

Hathaway has since shared an apology for the film’s portrayal of limb differences, directed to children who may have been affected by her character.

“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 said.

“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.”

She concluded: “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.”

Hathaway shared the statement on Instagram, alongside a video by nonprofit organisation Lucky Fin, which supports families affected by limb differences.


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