Thursday, 17 June, 2021


Sia defends portrayal of autism in her directorial debut, 'Music'

Music Teaser Kate Hudson Leads Sia's Directorial Debut Film Sia shares 'Hey Boy' from 'Music' soundtrack
Hannah Rogers | 20 November, 2020, 23:56

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?"

She, like other social media users, also criticised the Chandelier hitmaker for taking on a project that would block autistic creatives from realising theirs, and for working with Autism Speaks, a US charity many people with the disorder reject as harmful. In addition, Sia wrote ten original songs for the movie, that are performed by the cast. We all said we could have acted in it on short notice.

"This is totally unacceptable and there are no excuses, you should know better than to allow able bodied & neurotypical to represent the disabled community", one follower wrote. "The fact of the matter is zero effort was made to include anyone who is actually autistic".

Sia's music is integral to the story of the film.

Music is written, directed and produced by Sia. It's set for a theatrical release in IMAX in February. Fucking sad nobody's even seen the dang movie. "My heart has always been in the right place", she tweeted.

The trailer for her directorial debut dropped on Thursday, with her protege, 18-year-old dancer Maddie, taking the main role as a teenager with special needs, with Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr. also joining the cast.

The musician later tweeted: "Grrrrrrrrrr".

As Sia launched the trailer for her upcoming film "Music", she took some heat from her fans over her choice of portrayal for the film's autistic character, Music.

The plot of "Music" centers on Hudson as a newly sober drug dealer named Zu who winds up as the sole guardian of her autistic half-sister Music (Ziegler).

One Twitter user wrote: "The fact Sia believes a neurotypical girl can act as an autistic girl exclusively because she believes her level of functioning is higher is ableism".

Representatives for "Sia" did not immediately respond to IndieWire's request for comment.

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