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Anne Hathaway Apologizes For ‘Pain’ Caused By ‘Witches’ Portrayal

Anne Hathaway apologized Thursday to those in the limb difference community for her portrayal of her character in “The Witches.”

In the new movie, Hathaway’s character, the Grand High Witch, is depicted as having hands with missing limbs. The portrayal of the character, which Warner Bros. said was a “new interpretation of the cat-like claws” described in the Roald Dahl novel, has led to criticism from the limb difference community. Organizations such as U.K.’s Reach Charity and the Paralympic Games spoke out about the issue, and the hashtag #NotAWitch spread on social media.

On Thursday, Hathaway addressed the topic on Instagram, sharing a video from Lucky Fin Project, an organization raising awareness of limb differences, along with an apology.

Hathaway wrote that she does her best to be sensitive to the experiences of others, not because of “scrambling PC fear,” but because it’s a basic level of decency everyone should strive 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,” Hathaway wrote.

The actor specifically addressed children with limb differences, saying, “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.”

See Hathaway’s full statement below: 

View this post on Instagram

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.

A post shared by Anne Hathaway (@annehathaway) on

A spokesperson for Warner Bros. also issued a statement to Deadline, saying the filmmakers and the studio were “deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in ‘The Witches’ could upset people with disabilities, and regret any offense caused.”

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