According to the BBC, the adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 children’s story depicts the main characters with three elongated fingers and no toes.
The portrayal of the characters has led to a backlash from people with hand and arm impairments, and the movie has been accused of an insensitive depiction of those with physical disabilities.
Following the reaction, Hathaway took to social media to apologize and acknowledged how many “are in pain because of the portrayal of the Grand High Witch in The Witches.”
“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 wrote.
Hathaway also posted a video from the Lucky Fin Project along with her message. The clip shows individuals acknowledging and celebrating their limb differences. The nonprofit organization helps to raise awareness and champions humans who have a deformity.
The actress’s post follows an apology made by Warner Bros. earlier this week in relation to the impairments of the characters. The studio responded by saying it was “deeply saddened” at how Robert Zemeckis’s depiction has upset those living with physical disabilities.
Warner Bros. also explained that it was not their intention to show the witches as a representation of people who have physical impairments.
British comedian Alex Broker was born with hand and arm deformities. He disagreed with the way the movie shows individuals with missing limbs.
“To me, it sends out a message that we should be scared of people with missing fingers,” he explained.
The Witches was supposed to be released in cinemas in late 2020, but due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was alternatively distributed on digital platforms in October. Following its release, the hashtag “#NotAWitch” was trending on social media in reaction to the depiction of the witches.
Creating and releasing the big-screen adaptation of Dahl’s book has been far from easy. The Inquisitr reported on an on-set fight between a rigger and a stagehand during filming of The Witches that led to the stagehand being stabbed in the neck with a Stanley knife.