Sia Joins The #Cancelled List

Backlash from upcoming movie Music, as Maddie Ziegler plays non-verbal autistic teen.


A movie with three years in the making and it has been boycotted before its release. Director Sia has received a lot of backlashes since the trailer dropped last Thursday, regarding her offensive portrayal of an Autistic teenager called Music. 

It would appear, yet again, that Hollywood is portraying a disability by an abled person. Maddie Ziegler, who is known for working with Sia over the years, is playing the main character Music, which is why the autistic community and others are upset. 

Many have taken to Twitter to ask Sia why she did not use an actress with autism, to which she replied, “casting someone at her level of functioning was cruel, not kind”. Sia states she did hire a non-verbal girl with autism, but she found it “unpleasant and stressful” which prompted her to use Maddie for the role; one extreme to the next.

Others have theorized the movie was shot in a few months and Sia didn’t want to add pressure to an actor with autism. Although, that justification is simply rude. For Sia to speak on behalf of those with autism and declaring what they are and aren’t able to do, is ableist. Many people with autism are in high pressured jobs functioning in society like everyone else. 

Sia states herself that she did involve organization Autism Speaks with the movie. However, it is widely known across the autistic community that Autism Speaks is a hate group with a history of abusing people with autism by trying to find a ‘cure’. Back in February, many people told her the truth about this organization, yet she stayed oblivious. 

What seems to be the most disturbing part of this, is Sia’s replies to people expressing their distress with the movie.

One person tweeted “several autistic actors, myself included, responded to these tweets. We all said we could have acted in it on short notice. These excuses are just that- excuses. The fact of the matter is zero effort was made to include anyone who is actually autistic.”

To which Sia replied, “maybe you’re just a bad actor.”

It would appear that trolls in the comments state those with autism should be pleased they’re getting represented at all. To which one Twitter user sums it up with a perfect analogy.



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