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The Warner Brothers company has been facing severe backlash from their HBO Max reimaging of the Roald Dahl book and the 1990 original film, “The Witches.” The movie was released on Oct. 22, 2020, and is about a young boy who accidentally has a run-in with a coven and their high priestess.
In the original movie starring Anjelica Huston, the witches are portrayed as having five fingers with long claws. However, the 2020 version features Anne Hathaway and her coven having three long fingers that are hidden beneath gloves.
Warner Brothers Apologizes
On November 4, Warner Brothers apologized for offending anyone with limb differences. That was not what they were trying to do. They only wanted to adapt the original story by Dahl.
“We worked with designers and artists to come up with a new interpretation of the cat-like claws,” that is described in the book. According to Deadline, Warner Brothers said they were very sad “to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities.”
Many people have taken to social media to announce their distaste for the actions the Warner Brothers took. Aaron Settipane wrote on Twitter, “a lesson why inclusion is important..if someone with a disability was there, maybe intention would be different? Why Anne Hathaway’s Depiction in ‘The Witches’ is Under Fire From the Disabled Community #fail.”
Robert Zemeckis directed the Warner Brothers version of “The Witches.” Co-starring alongside Hathaway is Octavia Spencer, Chris rock, and Jahzir Bruno.
Backlash for Warner Brothers
The backlash really took off when #NotAWitch started to become popular amongst advocates for people with disabilities. One such advocate is Paralympic medalist Amy Marren. Marren tweeted for people to educate themselves on “#LimbDifferences and the support the idea that you are #NotAWitch because you look different!”
She further encouraged people to support those with differences by referring to them as people and not what makes them different. Joining her settlements was The Paralympic Games when they tweeted that disabilities need “to be normalized.” They further stated that all “differences should be celebrated.”
Many people feel that Warner Brothers would have benefited from including people with disabilities in their production process.
Written by Sheena Robertson
CNN: Warner Bros. apologizes over ‘The Witches’ after backlash from disability community by Marianne Garvey
IMDb: The Witches (2020)
People: Warner Bros. Says Company Is ‘Deeply Saddened’ The Witches Offended Some with Disabilities by Ale Russian
Top and Featured Image by ?LiAnG? Courtesy of Wikimedia – Creative Commons License