Sia Snaps at Autistic Actor After Backlash Over New Movie ‘Music’

by Jeremy Spirogis
Sia wearing a curly pink wig and yellow bow performing on stage

Sia is a pop famous person who is named a lot for her quirky creative selections as she is for her gorgeous vocals on hits like “Chandelier” and “Cheap Thrills.” The Australian musician drew inspiration from her father — additionally a musician — when she was only a youngster, and she or he took that drive into working with a number of bands throughout London earlier than breaking free for a solo profession and shifting to New York City in 2005. Along the best way, she determined her type would come with the acutely aware alternative to cover her face, and she or he additionally grew to become often known as a prolific songwriter whom many high pop stars sought out for penning their very own works. 

Now Sia is branching out into the movie world along with her new launch Music, however it’s trending for all of the unsuitable causes as Sia faces backlash over casting selections. 

Sia wearing a curly pink wig and yellow bow performing on stage
Sia | Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Sia is not any stranger to controversy

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Sia shouldn’t be one to shrink back from controversial artistic selections. The singer has had a longstanding artistic relationship with dance star Maddie Ziegler, who was simply 10 years previous when she caught Sia’s eye on Dance Moms. Ziegler would go on to carry out dramatic and extremely emotional dance performances for a number of Sia movies, and one in every of these triggered fairly a stir. 

For “Elastic Heart,” an 11-year-old Ziegler carried out in a cage with a shirtless Shia LaBeouf — a controversial star himself who’s well-known for his excessive technique performing. In the video, Ziegler and LaBeouf carry out a dramatic and really intimate dance, and plenty of followers had been aghast {that a} youngster so younger — clad solely in a nude leotard — could be put in such a place. 

For her half, Ziegler — now an grownup — referred to as the expertise “a journey”: “He was so protective, so like collaborative and just made me feel really safe, which was awesome. But he’s method, obviously, when it comes to acting, so when it came to filming, he was like doing laps around the cage, punching the cage, and I was just sitting there like an 11-year-old like, ‘OK like I’m ready to film’. It was intense.” 

Maddie Ziegler has a lead half in Sia’s movie ‘Music’ 

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The relationship between Ziegler and Sia is clearly nonetheless going robust as Ziegler was forged in a starring function in Sia’s new movie Music. Ziegler performs the titular Music, an autistic lady who’s scuffling with the loss of life of her grandmother. While some followers had been excited concerning the announcement as a result of it meant they might lastly get to listen to Ziegler sing, others cried foul over the casting alternative. Sia has already expressed disgrace over launching Ziegler into the highlight at such a younger age, and now she has helped put her within the crosshairs of one other controversy. 

Many are taking situation with the truth that Ziegler is portraying an autistic individual however shouldn’t be herself autistic. There is an extended historical past of the movie business portraying neurodiverse people with out casting precise neurodiverse actors into these roles. Those within the incapacity activism neighborhood are pissed off with the shortage of illustration and for being misrepresented on the display in methods they discover damaging to the general public understanding of neurodiversity. 

Autism Speaks was concerned within the movie 

Adding much more gasoline to the fireplace, as reported by Variety, the group Autism Speaks was concerned within the creation of the movie, and that triggered much more fury from the activist neighborhood. Autism Speaks has lengthy been held up as an abusive and exploitative group. As Emily Willingham wrote for Forbes again in 2013, “they’ve got a poor track record of showing respect for autistic people.” Critics of Autism Speaks contend that the group goals to “cure” autism — typically with damaging and abusive strategies — reasonably than perceive it, and speaks about autistic individuals reasonably than letting them share their very own experiences and wishes. 

As Sia confronted backlash for the choice to forged a neurotypical actor within the function of an autistic character, she triggered much more outrage by responding to an autistic actor who stated she and plenty of different autistic actors might have been out there for the movie. “Maybe you’re just a bad actor,” Sia snapped again. 

This defensive retort has achieved little to calm the controversy and has now made the dialog unfold even additional together with to sources like USA Today. While Sia retains insisting that individuals watch the movie earlier than they cross judgment, it’s unlikely that viewing would do a lot to finish the frustration over the shortage of illustration or the anger over Sia’s dismissive response to the criticism. 

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