Earlier this week, Warner Bros. made headlines after issuing an apology surrounding their latest release, The Witches, as disability advocates spoke out regarding the film's portrayal of witches as having three fingers, emulating a "split hand," or ectrodactylyin, according to NBC News. Since the film's release, individuals with limb differences, including several notable Paralympians and advocates, took to social media to share their disappointment in the movie, featuring photos of themselves along with the hashtag #NotAWitch.
"Please educate yourself on #LimbDifferences and the support the idea that you are #NotAWitch because you look different!" Amy Marren, a Paralympic swimming medalist, wrote as a part of a longer post on Instagram.
"I have recently learned that many people with limb differences, especially children, are in pain because of the portrayal of the Grand High Witch in The Witches," Hathaway wrote in an Instagram post shared yesterday, alongside a video from The Lucky Fin Project, which aims to create a "support network" of parents and children and promote education on limb differences, among other goals. "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. As someone who really believes in inclusivity and really, really detests cruelty, I owe you all an apology for the pain caused. I am sorry. I did not connect limb difference with the GHW when the look of the character was brought to me; if I had, I assure you this never would have happened."
Yet there is one group of people Hathaway says she wants to especially apologize to -- young people. "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."
Unlike pretty much any other celebrity apology in internet history, Hathaway's post generally garnered a generally positive response from advocates and fans alike. "Thank you for addressing this and for your apology," commented disability advocate @crosslandshannon. "I do believe that it was unintentional and no upset was caused on purpose. We have been trying to raise awareness to prevent something like this occurring again - it's great to see our voices were heard. Thank you again for your apology!"
"Thank you for your apology, I have ectrodactyly & felt offended, but I appreciate you using your platform to raise awareness!" added user @sky.hxpe.
Celebs, take note -- that is how you issue a social media apology.