The new remake of the Roald Dahl children’s book The Witches has come under fire for their depiction of the limb difference community. 22-year old British swimmer Amy Marren took to Twitter to discuss her disappointment with the film’s depiction.
— Amy Marren (@amy_marren) November 2, 2020
The Retired Paralympian helped start the #NotAWitch to bring attention to the matter. The Paralympic Games official twitter added, “Limb difference is not scary. Differences should be celebrated and disability has to be normalized.”
The post gained enough popularity in the community to have Warner Bros. respond to the allegations. A spokesperson for Warner Bros saying, that they are “deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in ‘The Witches’ could upset people with disabilities.’” There was a clear element that was lost in translation for the filmmakers and the community.
Continuing to add, “In adapting the original story, we worked with designers and artists to come up with a new interpretation of the cat-like claws that are described in the book,” and ending with, “It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them. This film is about the power of kindness and friendship. It is our hope that families and children can enjoy the film and embrace this empowering, love-filled theme.”
Intentional or not, the film offended enough people in the community, though the studio has since apologized for the misinterpretation.