Last month saw the release of Robert Zemeckis' reboot of The Witches, and though the movie wasn't really well-received by critics, it has gotten flak from the disability community—something Warner Bros. is now expressing their regrets over.
Apparently, the movie has gotten flak for Anne Hathaway's character sporting three fingers which looks a lot like the limb abnormality extrodactyly a.k.a. "split hand". The release of the film had posts like this calling out WB for insensitivity to the limb differences community:
A WB spokesperson has reached out to Deadline to say that they are "deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities" and that they "regretted any offense caused". The statement continues:
"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… It was never the intention for viewers to feel that the fantastical, non-human creatures were meant to represent them."
In the book by Roald Dahl, the witches are described to have ‘claws instead of fingernails' but the cover art does portray the witches to have a complete set of fingers.
If anything, I can imagine how something like this could be overlooked. The movie was attempting to really make the film look more new and unique, and I guess they wanted the witches to have hands that resembled bird claws. Then again, the disability community does have a point when they say that it could misrepresent children who have the disability. Maybe they should have made the claws a different color as to further make the witches look less human? That's just my suggestion.
For now, you can catch The Witches on HBO Max.