Sia Criticized For Not Hiring Autistic Actors in 'Music' Film

Singer Sia with muse Maddie Ziegler

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.

According to Variety, the "Chandelier" hitmaker cast her frequent collaborator, Maddie Ziegler, as a character who is "non-verbal and she has a little echolalia who can repeat what you say to her, but she doesn't generate her own language". 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.

"Did you do any research or consult the community at all?" another person asked Sia.

Some people also have an issue with the idea that the main character uses music as a way to "escape" her autism -- implying the disability is something negative. One fan called it "offensive".

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?"

But fans didn't stop there.

"I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f-king prostitutes or drug addicts but as doctors, nurses and singers", she revealed. "My heart has always been in the right place", she tweeted.

However, this was met with even more backlash, and Twitter users began claiming that Sia had not done enough research to produce a film about such a sensitive topic.

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Sia responded by writing: "I actually tried working with a attractive young girl non-verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful".

When several people said they're concerned that the film mocks people with disabilities, Sia responded and wrote, "Mocking is the very last thing either Maddie or I wanted to be so misunderstood".

In another tweet, she said: "Casting someone at (the character's) level of functioning was cruel, not kind, so I made the executive decision that we would do our best to lovingly represent the community".

Sia begged her fans to watch "Music" before they judged her saying, "It's a lovely film with meaningful intentions".

Sia and Maddie Ziegler perform at KeyArena on September 29, 2016 in Seattle.

"The fact of the matter is zero effort was made to include anyone who is actually autistic", they wrote.

"Maybe you're just a bad actor", she responded.

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