The way in which the evil witch Anne Hathaway was portrayed in the film The Witches was heavily criticized and considered offensive by disabled people and associations, prompting a public apology from Warner Bros.
The Warner Bros publicly apologized to people with disabilities for portraying Anne Hathaway’s character in The Witches. “We regret having offended someone,” reports a statement. In direct adaptation from Robert Zemeckis, indeed, the actress plays a villain, the Supreme Witch, who is missing fingers. Many people with disabilities have identified the character as suffering from ectrodactyly, a limb abnormality commonly referred to as a ‘split hand’.
The concern of the disabled and various associations is that the depiction of the villain with physical defects may feed the stereotypical idea of disability as abnormal or frightening. The American Paralympic athlete was also exposed with strong criticism Amy Marren, who said she was ’embittered’, with a post on twitter also shared by the account of the Paralympic Games, which they wrote, “the difference in fingers shouldn’t be scary. Differences should be celebrated and disability normalized ”.
“I am fully aware that this is a movie and that they are witches,” Marren said instead, “but witches are essentially monsters, and my fear is that the children who see the film are unaware of how you exaggerate the film. ‘original of Roald Dahl and that the difference in fingers must be something to be afraid of ”.
Witches, available in streaming in Italy, is the second adaptation of Dahl’s popular children’s book. In addition to Hathaway, in the cast there are also Octavia Spencer, Stanley Tucci, Chris Rock.