Movie bosses at Warner Brothers release an apology to the disability community as they regret upsetting people with the depiction of the eponymous characters.
Warner Bros. officials have issued an apology after prominent members of the disability community condemned the depiction of the eponymous characters in “The Witches“.
In the movie, inspired by Roald Dahl‘s children’s novel of the same name, Anne Hathaway‘s character is shown with hands that are similar to the limb abnormality ectrodactyly, which is characterized by the absence of one or more central digits on the hand or foot.
After figures including campaigners, Paralympians, and Paralympic Games organization officials took issue with the film, Warner Bros. bosses told Deadline they were “deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in ‘The Witches’ could upset people with disabilities” and “regretted any offense caused.”
“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,” they added.
“It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them.”
British Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren was one of the first to call out the studio for the imagery, while disability advocate Shannon Crossland stated on Instagram that the imagery in the film was “no way a reflection of the original novel written by Roald Dahl.”
In the 1983 novel, the witches are said to have “square feet with no toes” and “claws instead of fingernails,” with Marren adding, “Is this the kind of message we want the next generation to receive. That having three fingers is a witch’s attribute?”
“It is an extremely damaging portrayal,” she insisted. “Disability should NOT be associated with evil, abnormality, disgust, fear or monsters.”