In the same week that pop singer Sia celebrated a new career height with the Golden Globe nomination for her directorial film debut, the neophyte director deleted her Twitter account amid woke backlash over her movie’s autistic character.
Upon the announcement that Sia’s movie “Music” received a Golden Globe nomination, leftist activists denounced Sia on Twitter due to the film featuring an autistic person being restrained. People were also upset that the movie did not cast an actual autistic person to play the role.
“To every #ActuallyAutistic person who is rightly devastated to see #Sia”s ‘Music’ nominated for a Golden Globe, I am with you,” tweeted actress Ruth Madeley. “Disabled people are needed in the industry now more than ever to help change the narrative we’re all so sick of.”
To every #ActuallyAutistic person who is rightly devastated to see #Sia"s 'Music' nominated for a Golden Globe, I am with you. Disabled people are needed in the industry now more than ever to help change the narrative we're all so sick of. #endableism 💔
— Ruth Madeley (@ruth_madeley) February 3, 2021
According to Access Living, Ableism is defined as “the discrimination of and social prejudice against people with disabilities based on the belief that typical abilities are superior. At its heart, ableism is rooted in the assumption that disabled people require ‘fixing’ and defines people by their disability. Like racism and sexism, ableism classifies entire groups of people as ‘less than,’ and includes harmful stereotypes, misconceptions, and generalizations of people with disabilities.”
As reported by Variety, Sia deleted her Twitter account after she apologized profusely while vowing to listen better to disabled communities:
In a succession of tweets on Tuesday night, the singer wrote that she has “been listening” to the criticism surrounding the film’s portrayal of a nonverbal autistic person by a neurotypical actor, Maddie Ziegler. As a result, the singer announced that a warning will appear at the beginning of the film, specifically about scenes depicting physical restraint.
“I promise, have been listening. The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie,” Sia tweeted, followed by the warning, which reads: “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.”
Sia also added that the scenes featuring the restraints will be removed from public screenings of the film.
Speaking on a panel at the Sundance Film Festival recently, Sia said that when she originally cast “Hamilton” star Leslie Odom Jr. in one role for her movie “Music,” executives warned her that if she cast a black female opposite Odom Jr., the movie would then be considered a “black movie.”
“I thought it was gross,” Sia said, as reported by UPI.
Sia recalled being warned that the movie would be “put in a different category.”
“It won’t be commercial, it won’t be mainstream,” executives allegedly told her.
Sia ultimately regretted succumbing to the pressure of listening to “a lot of white men.”
“I just tried to listen to anybody who had any experience in the business,” Sia said. “Looking back, I guess that was a lot of white men.”
“I’m part of the problem, not the solution,” she asserted. “I’m learning, you know? Next time, I’ll cast whoever I want.”
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