‘The Witches’ Remake Receives Backlash From Incapacity Group – .
Prominent members of the disabled community, including activists, Paralympians and the Paralympic Games organization, have condemned the portrayal of the characters of the same name in Warner Bros’ recently released The Witches, stating that the use of certain physical impairments in their hands is offensive to those with limb differences .
In the film, Anne Hathaway’s character is shown with hands similar to the ectrodactyly of the limb anomaly, also known as “split hand,” which is characterized by the absence of one or more central digits on the hand or foot. See picture above.
British Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren was one of the first to call the studio about the pictures.
@WarnerBrosUK has given a lot of thought to how this representation of limb difference would affect the limb difference community ?! @ReachCharity @RoaldFull pic.twitter.com/kiTEAuYt7i
– Amy Marren (@amy_marren) November 2, 2020
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Disability attorney Shannon Crossland stated on Instagram that the images in the film “are by no means a reflection of Roald Dahl’s original novel.”
“Is this the kind of message the next generation should get? That three fingers are a witch? It is an extremely harmful representation. Disability should NOT be associated with evil, abnormality, disgust, fear, or monsters, ”she added.
In response to this and numerous other messages from members of the disabled community, a Warner Bros. spokesman told . that it was “deeply saddened to learn that our portrayal of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities” and that it was “regrettable” causes any crime ”.
“In adapting the original story, we worked with designers and artists to come up with a new take on the feline claws described in the book,” they added. “It was never the audience’s intention to have the feeling that the fantastic, non-human creatures were supposed to be portraying them.”
In Dahl’s 1983 novel, the witches are said to have “square feet without toes” and “claws instead of fingernails,” although the first edition of the cover picture shows that they have five fingers on their hands.
The Paralympic Games official Twitter account weighed in on Twitter today.
The difference between the limbs isn’t scary. Differences should be celebrated and disabilities normalized. #NotAWitch calls the film ‘#TheWitches’ to depict disabilities 👉 https://t.co/aSY1U6TymE pic.twitter.com/UCU87bUeV8
– Paralympic Games (@Paralympics) November 3, 2020
Former Coronation Street actress Melissa Johns, a disability attorney, also tweeted.
Why missing fingers?
Here we go again…
Using disability as a costume and highlighting a character as a “bad guy”.
Children with limb differences rarely see themselves truthfully portrayed. But are shown as scary monsters instead?
Not what we need 😑 # TheWitches pic.twitter.com/AApqu1Nodx
– Melissa Johns (@Melissa_Clare_J) November 2, 2020
Directed by Robert Zemeckis and co-written by Guillermo del Toro, The Witches was released on HBO Max on October 22nd. It is the second adaptation of Dahl’s book after Nicolas Roeg’s 1990 film of the same name.