Sia firebacks after being criticized for ableism for her upcoming film

Singer Sia with muse Maddie Ziegler

Pop singer Sia is responding to the backlash to her upcoming film that has been criticized for casting a nondisabled actor to portray a character who has autism. In the film, Ziegler's character communicates her emotions through a tablet.

However, lots of fans also rushed to support Sia, claiming that the backlash over her film Music had been a huge overreaction.

"She sees the world in a completely different way from us", Ebo explains which is both a way both for Ebo to describe Music's disability and how a scene can transform into a colorful music video. When the trailer was released online, it was met with a lot of criticism, about one character in particular.

Many people raised concerns with the casting of a non-disabled actor playing the role of a disabled person. But they're also incredibly concerned with how the film depicts an autistic character, which appears to infantize and fetishize autism.

The phrase "cruel, not kind" went viral, with many online users removing the context of her original phrase.

"I've never referred to music as disabled", Sia explained to one critic who asked why she didn't cast an autistic actor to play Music.

Despite Sia's intentions to "do our best to lovely represent the community", Sia's assurances aren't comforting many.


Imani Barbarin, a woman with cerebral palsy who regularly tweets about living with a disability, expressed her concerns on Twitter: "She produced a film peddling a harmful stereotype of disabled people and refused to cast a disabled person to play a disabled person", she wrote.

The National Autistic Society of the United Kingdom were critical of the casting choice, joining the conversation to say "Sia has got this one wrong ... there are so many talented autistic actors out there".

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?"

Reps for Sia did not immediately respond to Fox News' request seeking additional comment.

The Elastic Heart singer said: "I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f*****g prostitutes or drug addicts but as doctors, nurses and singers".

In a series of tweets and replies, Sia defended her decision to cast Ziegler in the role, saying she felt the use of a nondisabled actor was more compassionate.

Music will be released in February 2021.

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