Strictly's JJ Chalmers hits out at Anne Hathaway's The Witches for offensive portrayal of limb difference

STRICTLY Come Dancing star JJ Chalmers is not happy with the new The Witches film and its portrayal of limb difference.

JJ Chalmers, 33, served in Afghanistan as a Royal Marine where he was injured in a bomb blast.

The war hero took to Instagram to share a pic of the Netflix's rebooted The Witches film starring Anne Hathaway.

In the film based on the Roald Dahl classic of the same name, Anne plays the Grand High Witch, who like the other witches in the film has three elongated fingers on each hand and toe-less feet.

JJ was among many disability rights activists to label the portrayal of limb difference as inappropriate.

He shared a photo of his injured hand alongside a still from the film with the Grand High Witch's elongated fingers.



The former soldier had written "not a witch" in marker along his arm.

JJ wrote: "Whilst this depiction was not meant to offend, 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."

Following the backlash Anne took to her own Instagram to apologise and promised "to do better".

She wrote: "I owe you all an apology for the pain caused. I am sorry.

Anne admitted she "did not connect limb difference with the GHW [Grand High Witch] when the look of the character was brought" to her but "if I had, I assure you this never would have happened."

"I particularly want to say I'm sorry to kids with limb differences," she added.

"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."

The Oscar winning actress promised her apology was "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".

She also shared a video from the Lucky Fin project about children with limb differences.

The blast from the Improvised Explosive Device that injured JJ caused him serious injuries that required at least 30 operations and an intense rehabilitation process that involved learning to walk and dress himself again.

JJ suffered a number of injuries, including a crushed eye socket, broken neck, burst ear drums, a destroyed elbow, and two missing fingers.

It took him around four to five years to learn how to use his new body.

JJ has said that Strictly Come Dancing will be a test for him.

He told Metro: "I can barely lift my arms above my head," but that he's looking forward to challenging his body."

Strictly Come Dancing continues tonight (November 7) at 7.10pm.

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