Yesterday (February 3), Sia’s directorial debut Music was nominated for best film – musical or comedy – at the Golden Globe Awards 2021. In addition, its star Kate Hudson was nominated for best performance by an actress in a motion picture – musical or comedy. The nominations sparked a new backlash against the film that resulted in Sia deleting her Twitter account.
According to Variety, Sia tweeted that she had “listened” to criticism of music and that future public screenings will begin with the following message:
MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint in autistic people. There are autistic occupational therapists who specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive feedback under deep pressure and ensure the safety of the meltdown.
Additionally, Sia reportedly tweeted, “I’m sorry” and “I plan to remove the holdback scenes from all future prints. I was listening to the wrong people and that is my responsibility. My research was clearly not thorough enough, not broad enough. “
Pitchfork reached out to Sia representatives for further comments and information.
Sia has been criticized for casting a neurotypical actor, Maddie Ziegler, as a nonverbal autistic person in music. Responding to the review on Twitter in November, she wrote, “I actually tried working non-verbally on the spectrum with a beautiful young girl and she found it uncomfortable and stressful. That’s why I cast Maddie. “
At the same time, Sia wrote, “It was cruel and not kind to cast someone on (the) level of character. So I made the executive decision that we would do our best to represent the community lovingly. I tried. It felt more compassionate to use Maddie. That was my call. “
Sia also defended music by stating that “in the film there are 13 people on the spectrum” and that “two people on the spectrum are advising” [her] at any time.”
In response to Sia’s tweets, autism rights activists launched a Change.org petition asking Hanway Films to cancel the film’s release, Variety notes.