It’s amazing what a little
awards-season love perspective can do to a person. Fresh off of receiving two unexpected Golden Globe nominations for her debut film Music, Sia has publicly apologized to members of the autism community who criticized her decision to cast non-autistic dancer Maddie Ziegler as a non-verbal person on the autism spectrum in the film. In a series of tweets posted late on Wednesday evening and captured by Variety, Sia said she’s “been listening” to the criticisms surrounding her film, and plans to include a warning at the beginning of the movie, specifically about scenes in which Ziegler’s Music character is physically restrained. “MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help w meltdown safety,” reads the warning as tweeted by Sia. She also promised to remove the scenes from future releases of the film, tweeting, “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.”
Music was nominated for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and Best Actress for Kate Hudson. When members of the autism community first criticized the “Chandelier” singer for her decision to cast Ziegler instead of an actor on the autism spectrum, Sia initially responded defensively, attacking her critics in over 40 since-deleted tweets, at one point tweeting “Grrrrrrrrrr. Fuckity fuck why don’t you watch my film before you judge it? FURY.” However, the singer has since changed her tune, tweeting out a blanket “I’m sorry” for good measure early on Thursday morning, just in case the message wasn’t clear. But perhaps the singer had another change of heart as her Twitter account was deactivated shortly after tweeting out the apology. While the Hollywood Foreign Press Association certainly loved the sound of Music, something definitely still sounds out of tune to our ears.