Sia faces backlash over trailer for her new film featuring an autistic character

Joanna Taylor
Friday 20 November 2020 17:27
Showbiz
( Neilson Barnard / Getty Images )

Sia has been accused of ableism for her furious response to critics of her upcoming film.  

The film, entitled Music, features an actress, Maddie Ziegler, who does not have autism in the role of an autistic girl who is raised by her older sister.

This raised questions about how representative of people with autism the film will be.  

One of Sia’s fans tried to defend her by claiming that she cast a neurotypical actor because “it was shot in just a few months and Sia didn’t want to pressure anyone”. 

When an autistic actor dismissed this as an “excuse” and claimed she was personally willing to undertake the role, Sia herself waded into the conversation with an insult about her acting ability. 

Elsewhere, Sia claimed she had initially cast an autistic lead actor but replaced her when the role became “too stressful and overwhelming”. 

She added that she did cast “13 neuroatypical people” and that her “heart has always been in the right place”. 

Sia voiced frustration with criticisms of her film more generally, complaining that people were judging it before they watched it. 

But many of the criticisms she was faced with centred on the film’s production, not its execution. 

In one of her responses to the backlash, Sia said: 

I believe this movie is beautiful, will create more good than harm and if I’m wrong I’ll pay for it for the rest of my life

Sia has been contacted by Indy100 for further comment. 

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