Sia Apologizes Over Autism Depiction in Music and Says She's Adding Warning Label to Film
"MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people," Sia tweeted
Sia is editing her upcoming movie Music after listening to autism experts.
The Grammy winner earned backlash when the trailer for Music came out and showed her frequent collaborator Maddie Ziegler playing the role of a teenager with autism. The singer defended her decision but the film, also starring Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr., was later further criticized for including a scene in which Ziegler's character is restrained in a way that can be dangerous to people with autism.
On Wednesday, Sia apologized and explained that she will be editing the movie's content and adding a statement to the beginning of the film. The singer has since deleted the tweets, captured by The Daily Mail.
"I'm sorry," she wrote, hours after the movie earned two Golden Globe Award nominations.
"I promise, have been listening. The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie," Sia wrote, before sharing the full statement: "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."
"I plan to remove the restrain 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," she continued.
The movie is scheduled to come out as an IMAX event on Feb. 10, followed by a VOD release on Feb. 12.
The musical film stars Hudson as Zu, a recently sober drug dealer who suddenly becomes guardian of her younger sister named Music (Ziegler), a special-needs teen who communicates through a device that speaks for her, and who always listens to music via large headphones.
The tone of the last tweet is different to Sia's previous statements on the film, staunchly defending her casting Ziegler for the role despite backlash.
Responding to Twitter user criticizing her, Sia previously wrote: "I've never referred to music as disabled. Special abilities is what I've always said, and casting someone at her level of functioning was cruel, not kind, so I made the executive decision that we would do our best to lovingly represent the community."