Sia, talking at a 2019 occasion, has confronted criticism for the depiction of autism in her new movie “Music.” (Neilson Barnard/Getty Photographs for Each day Entrance Row/TNS)
LOS ANGELES — A petition demanding the Hollywood Overseas Press Affiliation rescind its Golden Globe nominations for Sia’s movie, “Music,” has amassed greater than 45,000 signatures.
Launched lately by members of the autism group, the Change.org marketing campaign states that Sia’s function directorial debut — which stars neurotypical actress Maddie Ziegler as a nonverbal teen with autism — “is severely ableist and contributes to dangerous stereotypes of autistic individuals.”
The controversial movie, which debuted in choose theaters and on VOD final week, scored two Golden Globe nominations for lead actress (Kate Hudson) and greatest image, musical/comedy, reigniting sharp criticism from incapacity activists and allies.
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“The truth that ‘Music’ has been nominated for 2 Golden Globes awards illustrates the entire disregard the complete leisure business has for inclusivity and minority illustration,” wrote Rosanna Kataja and Nina Skov Jensen, who created the petition. “It is going to solely use autism as inspirational porn to make neurotypicals be ok with their supposed ‘superiority.’”
The petition additionally takes situation with Ziegler’s efficiency, in addition to the movie’s depiction of restraint in sequences involving the actress-dancer’s character. The Nationwide Autism Affiliation condemns it as “harmful and abusive.”
“Sia’s determination to incorporate this inhumane remedy is a testomony to her ignorance and full disregard for the protection and wishes of autistic individuals,” the marketing campaign reads. “Regardless of claiming her film to be a ‘love letter to caregivers and to the autism group’, she is definitely telling the autistic group that she doesn’t care about them.”
When requested earlier this yr about her determination to solid frequent collaborator Ziegler within the lead function, Sia insisted she “can’t do a venture with out” the “Dance Mothers” alum, who has starred in quite a few the singer-songwriter’s music movies.
In the identical interview, Sia revealed that Ziegler was afraid individuals would assume she was making enjoyable of individuals with autism by enjoying the character — and that she promised Ziegler she wouldn’t “let that occur.” However the Change.org petition validates Ziegler’s fears about taking the function.
“How does one act autistic, chances are you’ll ask,” the marketing campaign continues. “If we have a look at Ziegler’s portrayal, the reply is by stereotypically mimicking autistic individuals the very same manner autistic individuals have been bullied and mocked their total lives.
“It additionally enforces the concept autistic persons are not ok and that their autism is best portrayed by somebody with no idea of what it’s to be autistic.”
Reps for “Music” and Ziegler didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to the Los Angeles Instances’ requests for remark.
The petition comes shortly after Sia apologized by way of social media to the autism group for depicting restraint within the movie and promised to attach a disclaimer cautioning in opposition to “using restraint on autistic individuals.” Nevertheless, after viewing the film upon its launch final week, one outstanding autism advocacy group, the Autisticats, famous on social media that the warning label had not but been added.
“There may be completely nothing flawed with the methods autistic individuals transfer, or the methods we make facial expressions,” a viral Instagram put up from the Autisticats reads. “A few of us roll our eyes and put our enamel over our lips as a stim or simply as a result of it’s comfy. However we do these issues naturally. Maddie Ziegler doesn’t.
“I additionally need to emphasize that, whereas I point out Ziegler regularly on this put up as a result of she is the actress portraying the autistic character, this entire fiasco shouldn’t be her fault. She was solely 14 on the time that filming started. The blame lies with Sia and the opposite members of this venture who didn’t cease this earlier than it acquired out of hand.”
Earlier this month, Sia tweeted she was “sorry” and took accountability for listening to “the flawed individuals” whereas making “Music” — a marked departure from her preliminary response to the controversy, which noticed the “Chandelier” hitmaker lash out at individuals with autism critiquing the venture.
“Sia’s dealing with of the feedback by incapacity activists thus far has been insensitive, irresponsible, and invalidating,” the petition states. “When confronted with justified critique, Sia determined to personally assault members of the group e.g. when she replied: ‘perhaps you’re only a dangerous actor’ to at least one autistic particular person who expressed their means and willingness to behave in her film.”
The Hollywood Overseas Press Affiliation didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to the Los Angeles Instances’ request for remark.
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