Sia says sorry to autism community for film Music
Popstar Sia has apologised for casting a neurotypical actor as a nonverbal autistic girl in her film Music, and for scenes depicting the use of restraints on autistic people.
Her film attracted controversy online on Wednesday after it was nominated for two Golden Globes.
It was criticised for the casting of dancer Maddie Ziegler in an autistic role. Sia has now said a restraint warning would be added to the film’s start.
“I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printings. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough,” she tweeted, shortly before deleting her account which had about 6m followers.
“I promise, have been listening. The motion picture Music will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie,” she said.
She added: “Music in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialise in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help w[ith] meltdown safety.”
On Wednesday, actress Ruth Madeley, who has spina bifida, expressed solidarity with “every #ActuallyAutistic person who is rightly devastated to see #Sia”s Music nominated”.
“Disabled people are needed in the industry now more than ever to help change the narrative we’re all so sick of,” tweeted the actress, who was in 2019 BBC drama Years and Years and has featured in BBC One’s Celebrity Best Home Cook.
The film, written and directed by Sia, also stars Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr, and will be released in certain cinemas around the world for one night only next week.
It received a Golden Globe nomination for best picture in the musical or comedy category, along with Kate Hudson, who got a nod for best actress.
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