Sia reacts to backlash over autism portrayal in her directorial film

Carla Harmon
November 22, 2020

According to a report by Los Angeles Times, the project has been termed a "cinematic experience" and will also feature Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr.

Ziegler has not yet commented on the film, nor have any other cast members.

Sia and Maddie Ziegler collaborate pretty frequently so it was not such a big surprise that she chose the young dancer for the role. Music, a special-needs teen, uses a tech device to communicate and always wears headphones to listen to music, sees the world in a different way - bright colors and imaginative musical sequences, People reported.

Los Angeles, Nov 21 (IANS) Singer Sia has reacted to criticism she is facing over the portrayal of autism in her upcoming directorial film, Music, and asked people to watch the film before jumping to conclusions.

Imani Barbarin, a woman with cerebral palsy who regularly tweets about living with a disability, expressed her concerns on Twitter: "She produced a film peddling a harmful stereotype of disabled people and refused to cast a disabled person to play a disabled person", she wrote. One fan called it "offensive".


Sia defended herself, claiming she hired various people with disabilities and some from the LGBTQ community.

But fans didn't stop there.

As one Twitter user, Tome Levi said, "It's a mighty shame that someone with such a colossal platform is using it to exclude disabled and neuro diverse actors from their own narratives".

In another, while highlighting that she cast 13 neuroatypical people and three trans actors, she took a shot at sex workers and addicts.

The main thing the star wanted people to understand is that her "heart has always been in the right place" when she created the film.


The phrase "cruel, not kind" went viral, with many online users removing the context of her original phrase.

She continued to respond to criticisms, labelling them all "bulls-t", and imploring people to actually see the film before they judge it.

"I actually tried working with a handsome young girl non verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful. So that's why I cast Maddie", Sia explained to one commenter. "He found it too stressful being non-verbal, and I made this movie with nothing but love for him and his mother".

"I believe this movie is lovely, will create more good than harm and if I'm wrong I'll pay for it for the rest of my life", Sia tweeted to one person.

Another social media user wrote: "Several autistic actors, myself included".


Other reports by iNewsToday

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER