We are not monsters: Boycott The Witches remake

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Yesterday was the first time I’d seen stills from The Witches remake. Several photos were shared in support groups I belong to and I spent much of the day fighting back tears. You see, my son has ectrodactyly. He has one finger on each hand and is missing toes on each foot. He’s a great kid. He’s smart, kind, funny, strong-willed and sassy. He’s a regular kid who happens to be missing some digits. What he is not is evil and grotesque. His limb difference does not make him a monstrosity. We have dealt with chronic stares and constant questions since birth, which is now just a fact of life for us. When he was about two, I experienced a heartbreaking situation unfold where my cousin’s child would close his eyes as he was afraid of looking at my son. With patience and understanding, we taught him not to fear Chris. But it was like getting punched in the gut each time it happened. Chris recently started school and things have been going well so far. Until yesterday. Now I have crippling anxiety about what his peers who have seen this movie might say. Are kids going to point at him in public and call him a witch? How is his life going to be impacted by HBO’s decision to depict ectrodactyly the way it did in this movie. I don’t recall Anjelica Houston’s character having ectrodactyly in the original movie. Why did you choose to portray Anne Hathaway’s character with missing digits and did you ever once stop to consider the impact of doing so on the disabled community? Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of her character with missing digits reminds me of white actors donning black face. HBO has  completely misrepresented the limb difference community and caused irreparable damage to kids who are already vulnerable to low self-esteem, bullying and cruelty. As it continues to produce films, it should stop to ask itself if its films are representing a community fairly and if these portrayals will cause harm. In this case, it has harmed my son.