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Hathaway apologises for The Witches complaints

Anne Hathaway in the Witches
Anne Hathaway in the Witches Image credit: nme.com

Anne Hathaway has addressed complaints after a number of people lodged complaints about her role in the new adaption of The Witches, based on the 1083 children’s book by Roald Dahl.

In the film Hathaway plays a baddie with three fingers on each hand which conjured up a backlash from critics and disability advocates saying the movie demoralises people with ectrodactyly or split hands.

The 37-year-old actress apologised for any offensive caused by posting a message on her Instagram account.

She 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."

"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.”

The actress continued: "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."

"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 and the #NotAWitch hashtag to get a more inclusive and necessary perspective on limb difference."

The film was criticised by disabled people in the public eye on social media.

Paralympian Amy Marren said: asked if "there was much thought given as to how this representation of limb differences would effect the limb difference community."

The Last Leg presenter Alex Brooker said: "To me it sends out a message that we should be scared of people with missing fingers."

Members of the Lucky Fin Project, who were mentioned in Hathaway’s post called for people to boycott the movie and the International Paralympic Committee launched the hashtag #NotAWitch

There was no mention of any witches having missing fingers in Dahl’s book, in the story they were described as having claws instead of fingernails.

Warner Bros released statement which reed: statement read: "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.

"It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them."

The Witches is available to buy now on Sky Store.