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Anne Hathaway Apologised And Promised To "Do Better" Following Offence Caused By Her Character In "The Witches"

"Now that I know better I promise I'll do better."

Anne Hathaway has issued an apology for the offence caused to people with limb difference by the portrayal of her character, the Grand High Witch, in The Witches.

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The new adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic novel faced backlash following its release, raising concerns that the Grand High Witch's appearance could perpetuate stereotypes that people with limb differences are abnormal or scary.

Warner Bros.

The film portrays witches as evil and having bald heads, no toes, and hands with three fingers.

Several people, including Paralympic swimmer Amy Marren and triathlete Claire Cashmore, called out the filmmakers for their lack of consideration when characterising the witches.

"Was there much thought given as to how this representation of limb differences would effect the limb difference community?" Marren wrote on Twitter. "My fear is that children will watch this film, unaware that it massively exaggerates the Roald Dahl original, and that limb differences begin to be feared," she added.

The discussion even sparked a hashtag, #NotAWitch, where people could share their own experiences living with limb differences.

Hey @wbpictures , thanks for your attempt to convince audiences people with limb difference (LD) are evil, scary and the villain. It's not like children with LD have much against them already #notawitch

I’m so angry and upset that I can’t not say anything anymore. The new Witches film is devastating for those of us with a limb difference or anyone with a disability in fact. Here’s my post from Instagram, please take the time to give it a read: #TheWitchesMovie #NotAWitch

Now Hathaway has apologised for the portrayal of her character in the film and the pain it may have caused.

Angela Weiss / Getty Images

"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," the actor captioned a video from the nonprofit organisation Lucky Fin Project.

"I particularly want to say I'm sorry to kids with limb differences: now that I know better I promise I'll do better," the mother of two said.

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

"I owe a special apology to everyone who loves you as fiercely as I love my own kids," Hathaway continued. "I'm sorry I let your family down."

She finished her apology with a shoutout to the Lucky Fin Project, which raises awareness for those living with limb differences, and also encouraged her followers to look at the #NotAWitch hashtag for "a more inclusive and necessary perspective" on the situation.

Earlier this week, Warner Bros issued a statement saying they were "deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities."

Warner Bros.

"In adapting the original story, we worked with designers and artists to come up with a new interpretation of the cat-like claws that are described in the book," the statement said.

"It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them. This film is about the power of kindness and friendship. It is our hope that families and children can enjoy the film and embrace this empowering, love-filled theme."

Ellie Bate is a celebrity reporter and talent coordinator at BuzzFeed UK and is based in London.

Contact Ellie Bate at eleanor.bate@buzzfeed.com.

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