Warner Bros. issues apology for hurting sentiments of disabled community after 'The Witches' backlash

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Nov 05, 2020, 09:47 AM(IST)

Poster of the film 'The Witches' Photograph:( Twitter )

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‘The Witches’, which was set for a theatrical release prior to the pandemic theatrical shutdown, debuted on Warner Bros.' streaming channel HBO Max on October 22.

Warner Bros. ‘The Witches’ has found itself in the middle of a controversy after netizens pointed out that the recent release depicted the disabled community in a bad light.

From people with limb disabilities to others have called out the makers for showing people with limb differences as scary. 

Warner Bros. has now issued a statement of regret as a studio spokesperson said, “We the filmmakers and Warner Bros. Pictures are deeply saddened to learn that our depiction of the fictional characters in The Witches could upset people with disabilities, and regret any offense caused."

"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 continued. "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."

The film ‘The Witches’ has been helmed by Robert Zemeckis who has directly adapted the classic Roald Dahl children’s book. It has villainous witches, including the coven leader played by Anne Hathaway, is seen as having only three fingers. 

The titular witches in Roald Dahl's book are described as "claws hidden by gloves" and are depicted in the cover art as having five fingers. In the 1990 film that was led by Anjelica Huston, the witches are also shown as having five fingers.

‘The Witches’, which was set for a theatrical release prior to the pandemic theatrical shutdown, debuted on Warner Bros.' streaming channel HBO Max on October 22.

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