Differently-abled people had slammed the film “The Witches” on Twitter.
Apart from Anne Hathaway, Warner Bros. also issued a public apology after it received a hammering on Twitter for its depiction of a Grand High Witch, an on-screen adaptation of the villainous character from Roald Dahl’s novel of the same title.
The film’s controversial factor has been referenced to a scene where Anne Hathaway’s character’s antagonist nature gets reinforced when she reveals her true physical state at the Witches council. The scene portrayed Grand High Witch and her companions having less than five fingers in their hands and toes. The film’s young protagonist was petrified when she saw that, and it happened to the utter dismay of the people with disabilities.
Many educated people with disabilities and their advocates pointed out that Grand High Witch’s state looked very similar to the people who have “Ectrodactyly,” which has been described by a popular media house Variety as an abnormality that can be referred to as “Split Hand.” Differently-abled people and their supporters have pointed out that showcasing people with disabilities as villains will further preach a fallacy that disability is a sign of evil or scary nature. The Twitter handle of the Paralympic Games was quick to add their voice to the debate. It slammed the film with a tweet that said that the physical difference is not “scary,” and people like that should never be excluded from anything, and rather they should be celebrated for who they are. The social media handle of the Paralympic Games reiterated their stance that disability should be treated as a normal thing so that everyone can be involved in the next step forward.
A British Paralympian with the name Amy Marren also spoke against Warner Bros. on Twitter. She suggested that it did not seem to her that there was no thought process behind that scene, and the creators were oblivious to how such a scene would affect the people who are living through their lives amidst that very thing that they have called “scary.”
She validated her argument with a report suggesting that doctors often build these kinds of limbs for people born with no limbs. She said that it is very disappointing to see such people being shown “scary.”
She elaborated her opinion by saying that showing different abled people as monsters and witches will advocate a belief among children that these things are meant to be afraid of, which simply is not the case. She added that the film is up against something very noble that they are trying to achieve, normalizing how everyone looks and thinks.
It did not take much time for Warner Bros. to note the protest and issue a statement saying that they are deeply saddened by the fact that their depiction of Grand High Witch has made so many people upset. Warner Bros. expressed their deep regret over the offense, which might have hurt people of a particular community.
The studio also tried to justify the depiction by saying that the creators were attempting to re-imagine the “cat-like claws” depiction given in books.
The actress Anne Hathaway turned to her Instagram account to address the uproar on Twitter. She remarked that she is a highly sensitive person who tries very best not to offend anyone, not because of the fear of backlash but because being nice is fundamental decency we can expect from anyone.
“I owe you all an apology for the pain caused,” she said, reiterating her opinion of herself that she is someone that detests cruelty.
“The Witches” is available for view on HBO Max.
John Martin is a McAfee Antivirus expert and has been working in the technology industry since 2002. As a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, manuals, white papers, and reviews for many websites such as mcafee.com/activate.
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