Following backlash earlier this week from the limb difference community, and an apology from Warner Bros, star Anne Hathaway has now come out with her own apology as well. This is particularly meaningful because the actor played the Grand High Witch in the movie, the character that has received the most backlash for her design.
The former Catwoman actress took to her Instagram and wrote, “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.” A character that was initially played by Anjelica Huston in the 1990 original, but did not receive the same level of backlash due to the different design.
Hathaway continues, “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.”
The former princess of Genovia continued, “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.”
She ends by linking to the Lucky Fin Project and using the #NotAWitch to help spread knowledge of the campaign that was started earlier this week. Similarly to an apology from Warner Bros earlier this week, it is clear no one involved intended any malice in their depiction.
However, similarly with characters throughout popular culture, there is continuing misrepresentation for those with some forms of disabilities. While this is not the first time or the last time a disabled villain will grace the silver screen, this certainly brought the conversation to the forefront of thought.