Prominent members of the disability community and the Paralympic Games organization have publicly condemned the recent new adaptation of Roald Dahl’s “The Witches” at Warner Bros. Pictures.
In the film, Anne Hathaway’s character is shown with hands that are similar to the limb abnormality ectrodactyly, otherwise known as ‘split hand’, which is typified by the absence of one or more central digits on the hand or foot.
These distinct physical impairments are being dubbed offensive to those with limb differences with one advocate saying it is “[in] no way a reflection of the original novel written by Roald Dahl”. She goes on to say:
“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. Disability should NOT be associated with evil, abnormality, disgust, fear or monsters.”
A Warner Bros spokesperson tells Deadline it had been “deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities” and that it “regretted any offense caused.”
Robert Zemeckis helmed the film which was released on HBO Max on October 22nd to widely negative reviews. Nicolas Roeg helmed a much more highly regarded 1990 film version.