Old interview footage from 1993 of Kathy Najimy is going viral but not because of something problematic or questionable she said (y’know, 1993...), but for the exact opposite actually.
In the clip that is now all over TikTok and Instagram, the then 36-year-old actor appeared on the TODAY show to promote the original Hocus Pocus film where she stars as Mary Sanderson — one of the three sister witches ready to suck the lives out of all the children in Salem to regain their youth.
During the interview, anchor Katie Couric asked Najimy, “I understand you had some concerns in all seriousness about taking on this role because you didn’t want to offend or stereotype real witches, is that right?”
Najimy responded and made it clear that she is an ally to any group of people who may feel a bit different or in the minority — and that includes real, modern-day witches.
“At the risk of having America roll their eyes, I just feel supportive of all groups, whether they’re women’s groups or gay groups or racial groups, and I know that there are groups of witches out there,” she explained.
She then went on to further explain that the Hocus Pocus script may have been painting witches in a light that is not-so flattering, and she knows that there are women out there who may practice witchcraft who are not “evil ugly” witches.
“I mean, I’m not a witch. I don’t know any personally,” she added. “But when I read the script, I thought this is really perpetuating a stereotype about an evil ugly witch and I know that there are groups of really strong women who sort of bind together, within are very spiritual and powerful. I didn’t want to be part of perpetuating that myth,” she continued.
So in order to prepare for the roll and work to not offend women or witches or any other group who may identify with the film, Najimy consulted the mother of feminism who Najimy called "the goddess of the world who knows everything”: Gloria Steinam.
Steinam explained to Najimy that during the witch trials, some of the women accused of practicing witchcraft were actually midwives and health care workers. So, when a woman was accused of “baby eating,” it is speculated that she was actually performing an abortion on another woman.
“So the women would go in pregnant ... and come out not. So, that’s the gossip about baby eating, which is of course not true. These were just health care workers,” she told Couric.
Not only was Najimy talking about real witch representation on live television, but she also said the word abortion on live TV in 1993. Brave and honest — a true ally who was way ahead of her time.
Just in case anyone needed yet another reason to love Kathy Najimy and Hocus Pocus.