Strictly's JJ Chalmers accuses The Witches of "carelessness" over limb difference

Joe Anderton
·2-min read

From Digital Spy

The Witches' newest adaptation for 2020 has come under fire by another high-profile star over its negative depiction of limb difference.

The newest film version of Road Dahl's children's novel was previously criticised by former Coronation Street star Melissa Johns and Paralympian Amy Marren for giving Anne Hathaway's Grand High Witch hands that are similar to ectrodactyly, a limb abnormality.

Now former Royal Marines commando and current Strictly Come Dancing contestant JJ Chalmers has used his platform to highlight how the film can reinforce negative stereotypes even if that wasn't the intention.

Photo credit: JJ Chalmers/Warner Bros - Twitter
Photo credit: JJ Chalmers/Warner Bros - Twitter

Related: The Witches review – a bland and neutered version of Roald Dahl's book

"Whilst this depiction was not meant to offend," he wrote, "it is a classic example of the type of unconscious biases and carelessness that occurs in a creative environment that is lacking the insight and benefits of true diversity and representation."

Anne Hathaway previously responded to criticism of the character, stating that she would not have approved the designs she was she shown if she thought that it would cause pain to the limb difference community.

She said: "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."

Photo credit: Warner Bros.
Photo credit: Warner Bros.

Related: Strictly Come Dancing reveals all the dance choices and songs for movie week

That isn't the only criticism that The Witches has found itself facing, as it has come under fire for perpetuating the anti-semitic stereotypes that its author was famous for.

The Witches is available to rent from Prime Video, iTunes, Microsoft Store, Sky Store and other participating digital retailers in the UK, while it's available to watch on HBO Max in the US.

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