In “The witches, ” Anne HathwayThe character of, the Great Witch, has three fingers on each hand. The leading witch and her acolytes, who hunt down kids and turn them into mice, do not have toes either.
Disability advocates slammed the HBO movie Max for portraying those with limb differences as monsters, using the hashtag # NotaWitch to share photos showing their own member differences.
Two weeks after the film’s release, Hathaway apologized.
The 37-year-old actress, who grew up in Millburn, responded to the reviews by sharing a video on Instagram of the Lucky Fin Project. The non-profit organization strives to raise awareness of membership differences and to celebrate children and families affected by those differences.
“I recently learned that many people with different limbs, especially children, are suffering because of the portrayal of the great witch in The Witches,” Hathaway said in her post. “Let me start by saying that I do my best to be sensitive to the feelings and experiences of others, not out of fear of jamming computers, but because not hurting others seems to be a basic level of decency at which we should all aspire. “
The HBO movie Max is the final adaptation of Roald Dahl’s 1983 children’s novel.
London author Jen Campbell was among those who spoke out against the film, which portrays witches as having ectrodactyly, meaning a hand that has four fingers or less instead of five, with numbers missing in the central part of the hand (or foot).
“In the book, witches don’t have toes, so they have square feet, they have claw-like hands and they don’t have hair,” she said in an Instagram post. . “It’s weird to read books like a kid where the bad guys have disfigurements, a lazy marker to show the audience that these people are evil. You can both love the story and think of yourself as the bad guy. absolutely saw myself as the bad guy, in this new version they take it one step further, witches have facial scars and (i found out today) they actually have ectrodactyly.
In Dahl’s book, witches hide their hands with gloves and hide other parts of their appearance – including their lack of hair and toes – with wigs and shoes.
“Real witches dress in ordinary clothes and look a lot like ordinary women, ”he writes. “They live in ordinary houses and work in ordinary jobs. This is why they are so difficult to catch.
“Since I now also have alopecia, I don’t think I’ve ever been more witch-like,” Campbell continued. “And as much as I think witches (in other contexts) are pretty badass, I’m so exhausted from this portrayal. I’m tired. I’m sad. I’m extremely happy that I’m no longer working in a bookstore like (so we were living in non-COVID times), the coming months would be particularly hellish. I can feel children with visual differences everywhere who are going to have this movie (and others like this) pushed in their face.
“Enough is enough,” she said. “When you see damaging tropes like this, please challenge them. Have conversations with your friends. Help us get the job done.
Variety previously reported that Warner Bros., the studio that made the film, also apologized for the performance.
“By adapting the original story, we worked with designers and artists to come up with a new take on the cat’s claws depicted in the book,” the studio said in a statement. “Viewers never intended to think that fantastic, non-human creatures were meant to represent them. This film is about the power of kindness and friendship. We hope families and children can enjoy the film and embrace this stimulating and loving theme. “
The film also stars Octavia Spencer, Jahzir Kadeem Bruno, Stanley Tucci and Kristin Chenoweth, with narration by Chris Rock.
Hathaway is the second actress to play the Great Witch after Anjelica Huston in the 1990 film “The Witches. “In this film, the witches hid their bald heads with wigs and facial features with” human “masks. They did not have toes, but they did not have ectrodactyly.
Hathaway apologized for her lack of awareness of the differences in particular limbs.
“As someone who truly believes in inclusiveness and really, really hates cruelty, I owe all of you an apology for the pain caused,” Hathaway continued. “I’m sorry. I didn’t make the connection between limb difference and GHW when the character’s gaze was presented to me; if I had, I assure you that would never have happened.
“I especially want to say that I am sorry for the children with different limbs: now that I know better, I promise I will do better,” she said. “And I owe a special apology to everyone who loves you as fiercely as I love my own children: I’m sorry I let your family down. If you are not already familiar, please consult the @Lucky_Fin_Project (video above) and the #NotAWitch hashtag to get a more inclusive and necessary perspective on the membership difference.
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Amy Kuperinsky can be reached at [email protected].