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Sia's movie slammed for portrayal of autism, singer blasts critic

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Adrian Cunningham | 22 November, 2020, 14:41

Sia is under fire after the trailer for her upcoming directorial debut has been released. Here's all the drama explained. In the film, Ziegler's character communicates her emotions through a tablet.

"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.

The movie centers on Music (Ziegler), a teenager with autism who has a passion for music. She also stated that she performed three years of research for the movie and had autistic people advising her throughout production. "It's very condescending to say it would be cruel to consult a disabled actor".

She said she did try "working with a handsome young girl non-verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful".

But when Sia provided a sneak peek of the film to her 3.8 million fans on Twitter on Thursday, it sparked even more backlash that the singer may not have been expecting.

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

The film, which also stars Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr., will showcase songs from Sia's new album of the same name and the trailer shows the actors dancing and singing their hearts away in several scenes.

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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?"

As you might have heard, some social media users were not happy at all to hear that Sia had cast an able-bodied person to play an autistic teen in her movie.

Others took the singer's comment negatively and re-started their barrage of attacks over the "offensive" nature of her "word choice".

One person said: "People got too much time on their hands and love to make drama out of everything".

Sia sounded really disappointed and upset when she also posted that she had cast 'thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f**king prostitutes or drug addicts but as doctors, nurses and singers.

Another Twitter user said: "Sia casts an actor to act, most actors don't portray who they are 100% in real life or it wouldn't be called acting. This stupidity has to stop".