Published: Sun, November 22, 2020

Sia Responds to Backlash Over Portrayal of Autism in New Film

Sia Responds to Backlash Over Portrayal of Autism in New Film

Sia addressed the social media criticism that her upcoming film, Music, has faced over its portrayal of autism. Here's all the drama explained. "So that's why I cast Maddie".

The movie, which will be released in February 2021, is described as a "cinematic experience from Sia" and follows the story of Music, a young teen with autism. "FURY", she began. She explained that she did three years of research and based a character off of one of her close friends.

"One person added to a thread of criticism, identifying themselves as an autistic actor who would have gladly acted in the movie" on short notice.

Sia went on to say, "I actually tried working with a a lovely young girl non verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful".

But when Sia provided a sneak peek of the film to her 3.8 million fans on Twitter on Thursday, it sparked even more backlash that the singer may not have been expecting.

"I'm reading tweets from other disabled folks about the film saying that music is helps the girl to "escape" her autism, which is such a vile, ableist notion to convey", someone posted.


Sia became involved in a public debate over the representation of autistic people in the film, responding: "why don't you watch my film before you judge it?"

After watching the trailer for the film, many critics took to Twitter to express their disappointment with Sia's casting choice, arguing that it was an "ableist" decision. "I'm a disabled person and am not offended by the premise of your film".

The film, which also stars Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr., will showcase songs from Sia's new album of the same name and the trailer shows the actors dancing and singing their hearts away in several scenes.

And to make matters worse the group Autism Speaks, who is involved in the production of the film, have come under fire repeatedly for the way they speak about autism and how they spend their money. Many people also found her comments about sex workers and drug addicts to be extremely offensive. "Please ignore them Sia", said one person.

"Can everyone get a grip on actors playing roles".

When another Twitter user pleaded with her not to release the film, Sia wrote, "I believe this movie is attractive, Will create more good than harm and if I'm wrong I'll pay for it for the rest of my life". What next? Only an actual serial killer can play Ted Bundy, Zac Efron must be cancelled?

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