Disabled Community Backlash over The Witches, Warner Bros. Apologizes

We haven’t checked out the Roald Dahl adaptation The Witches on HBO Max yet — it’s definitely on the watchlist, though — but apparently the depiction of the fantastical, non-human creatures has upset some disabled people.

From what I’m reading of the complaints, it has to do with how the witches claws are shown. Essentially, a costume and wardrobe malfunction.

In our 2020 hyper politically correct world, Warner Bros. apologized for their fictional objectionable representation.

The statement continued: “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. 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.”

Warner Bros. apologizes to after backlash from disability community – CNN

I don’t know what to make of this and probably should see the film first to fully comment. It might be that the complaints are valid, so worth keeping that perspective in mind.

However, it seems like just about anything can offend any group of people these days. My heart goes out to all disabled people, but do we really want to start looking at the depiction of witches in entertainment as a possible slight to disabled people?

Such a slippery slope here.

For consistency, I do not believe that creative license absolves everything (see: Why Netflix ‘Cuties’ will never be watched or reviewed in our house – critically acclaimed or panned, we don’t care) but my initial reaction to this is it’s not real. It’s an artistic representation. It’s makeup and CGI (?) artistry.

That stated, apologies from studios for any unintended harm doesn’t hurt anything. It actually gives the marketing team an opportunity to keep the film in the news which helps increase viewership interest. It might also open up a job for a person with a disability to be part of the movie monster QA inspection process (bad joke, sorry).

2 thoughts on “Disabled Community Backlash over The Witches, Warner Bros. Apologizes

  1. I follow two people on Instagram with disabilities similar to what was presented in the movie. I don’t think it’s just this depiction I think it’s the tendency for disabilities to ipso facto be portrayed in a poor light like this. I mean they actually changed it from the original where the simply had claw like nails and I don’t really see the purpose of the change.

    Liked by 1 person

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