Anne Hathaway has apologized after her new film, The Witches, sparked backlash from the disability community.
The actress issued a lengthy apology on Instagram after learning “that many people with limb differences, especially children, are in pain” over her portrayal of the Grand High Witch.
“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,” Hathaway wrote on Thursday, November 5.
“As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused,” she continued. “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.”
In the film, Hathaway’s character is shown with three fingers on each hand, a condition that’s similar in appearance to ectrodactyly, or “split hand.” It’s typically identified by missing central digits on the hand or foot.
The actress continued: “I particularly want to say I’m sorry to kids with limb differences: 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.”
She concluded by encouraging her followers to check out the Lucky Fin Project, a nonprofit organization that exists to raise awareness and celebrate children, individuals and families affected by limb differences.