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Strictly Come Dancing star JJ Chalmers criticises ‘careless’ portrayal of limb difference in The Witches

The Strictly star explained the flick is a 'classic example of unconscious biases'

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Strictly Come Dancing contestant JJ Chalmers has voiced his opinion on Anne Hathaway’s character in The Witches.

The new Roald Dahl adaption has come under fire by viewers for portraying a witch with only three fingers on each hand.

And JJ, who was seriously wounded by a bomb blast in 2011 while serving in Afghanistan, says the film is a “classic example of unconscious biases”.

jj chalmers on lorraine itv
Strictly Come Dancing contestant JJ Chalmers has criticised The Witches (Credit: ITV)

Read more: Strictly Come Dancing: Caroline Quentin and Johannes Radebe have first ‘barney’

Strictly Come Dancing: What did JJ Chalmers say?

Taking to Instagram today (November 6), the Strictly star, 33, said: “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.”

He added the hashtags: “#NotAWitch #LimbDifferent #Witches.”

Fans rushed to praise the star for speaking out.

One wrote: “Yes! Thank you for highlighting this.”

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A post shared by JJ Chalmers (@jj.chalmers) on

A second commented: “Always cheering you on mate! Good luck Saturday!”

While Strictly pro Amy Dowden added: “Well said partner.”

Has Anne Hathaway addressed criticism?

Yesterday, the actress took to social media to apologise, insisting she’ll “do better”.

The 37-year-old Oscar winner said: “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.

JJ and Amy from Strictly sitting together
JJ and partner Amy Dowden (Credit: BBC)

“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.”

She also added: “I particularly want to say I’m sorry to kids with limb differences: now that I know better I promise I’ll do better.”

JJ insists he is ‘not a disability spokesman’

Meanwhile, last month, JJ brushed off the idea that he is competing as a “disability spokesperson” on Strictly.

He told ED! and other news outlets at a press event that inspiring people himself would definitely be a bonus.

Read more: Strictly: Nicola Adams reveals she has to ask Katya Jones for permission to eat

The star said: “Whenever I bring myself to any challenge or role in life, whether that’s me as a TV presenter, I just want to do the best job I possibly can.

“But am I a disabled TV presenter, or am I a TV presenter with a disability? I think I’m the latter. I try and turn up, I try and do the best job that I possibly can as a presenter.”

During his time in Afghanistan, JJ suffered injuries to his arms and legs, lost two fingers and was left with scars on his face and chest.

The Invictus Games medallist was also recently revealed as she most likely to win the current series of Strictly.

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