Anne Hathaway Apologizes For Disability Depiction in The Witches: "I'll Do Better"

Anne Hathaway has apologized for the depiction of disability in HBO Max's adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Witches. On Thursday, the 37-year-old star took to Instagram to address backlash surrounding her antagonist character, the Grand High Witch, who has three fingers that she hides under a pair of gloves. Hathaway shared a video from Lucky Fin Project — a nonprofit that supports and celebrates those affected by limb differences — which featured people within the community affirming their worth and beauty. Hathaway then penned an apology alongside the clip.

"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," she wrote. "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. I am sorry. I did not connect limb difference with the GHW when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened."

She continued, directly addressing young children with limb differences. "I particularly want to say I'm sorry to kids with limb differences," she said. "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."

Warner Bros. also issued statement on Nov. 4, saying: "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. This film is about the power of kindness and friendship. It is our hope that families and children can enjoy the film and embrace this empowering, love-filled theme."