Anne Hathaway is apologizing to the disability community for what she is describing as “the pain caused” to people with limb differences by the portrayal of her character in “The Witches.”
In the HBO film, Hathaway, who plays the Grand High Witch, is seen with fewer than five fingers and toes on each of her hands and feet. Critics of the flick, based on the classic Roald Dahl children’s book, said the Grand High Witch’s hands resembled a congenital disorder called ectrodactyly, also known as a split hand malformation.
“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,” Hathaway said in a Thursday Instagram post.
“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 [Grand High Witch] when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened,” the 37-year-old actress said.
Warner Bros. had addressed backlash to its movie earlier this week, reportedly saying in a statement that it “regretted any offense caused” by the film and was “deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in ‘The Witches’ could upset people with disabilities.”
In her Instagram statement, Hathaway offered another apology that she addressed to “kids 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,” she said. “I’m sorry I let your family down.”