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The Real Reason Anne Hathaway Regrets Making The Witches

Throughout her career, Anne Hathaway has taken on some iconic roles — from Princess Mia in 2001's "The Princess Diaries" to Catwoman in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises" and her Oscar-winning performance as Fantine in "Les Misérables."

In 2020, Hathaway took on another memorable role in "The Witches," which is based on the children's novel of the same name by British author Roald Dahl. "The Witches" sees Hathaway play the Grand High Witch, the evil leader of all the world's witches. Set at a witch gathering at a seaside resort, the Grand High Witch comes into contact with an old nemesis, The Grandmother (Octavia Spencer), and her young grandson Hero Boy (Jahzir Kadeem Bruno).

"The Witches," which released directly to HBO Max, received middling reviews — it has just a 49% Tomatometer score and 33% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes. But the lack of critical praise was not the film's only issue — it also faced backlash for a problematic styling choice, which Hathaway herself admitted to regretting.

Hathaway regrets the harmful implications of her character's limb differences

In "The Witches," Hathaway's character is depicted as having limb differences in both of her hands — they each have just three long fingers. Many real people with limb differences did not take well to the film's depiction, claiming that giving limb differences to an evil character — which seemed intended to add to the character's menacing look — was an insensitive decision. Speaking with BBC, Comedian Alex Brooker, who has hand and arm impairments, said, "To me It sends out a message that we should be scared of people with missing fingers."

Following the backlash, Hathaway took to her Instagram to apologize and address the issues brought up with her character. She wrote, "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."

Hathaway also linked The Lucky Fin Project, a non-profit organization focusing on children and families dealing with limb differences, and added, "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."