Saying she has "been listening" to public outcry over the film featuring Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teen, Sia's tweets came on the heels of the film scoring two Golden Globe nominations.
One of the biggest surprises at the Golden Globe nominations ceremony held Wednesday morning was the inclusion of Sia's upcoming directorial debut film "Music," starring her muse Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teen.
The film has been poorly received by many critics (currently sitting at 29 percent on Rotten Tomatoes) amid a slew of criticism and controversy for Ziegler's casting, among other things, and Sia's initial responses to said criticism. The singer was called out for casting a neurotypical actress in Ziegler, for using the "special abilities" instead of "disabled," and for its depiction of prone restraint.
Initially, Sia was flippant in her reaction to the increasingly strong backlash, which has come to include a petition with 17,000-plus signatures asking that the film be canceled.
She did subsequently show some remorse for that reaction, posting that she admits "to being ableist to a degree; I'm not proud of it," as well as emphasizing, "I've learned my lesson."
The film was nominated for Best Picture, Musical or Comedy, while Kate Hudson picked up a Best Actress nod for portraying a woman who suddenly finds herself caregiver of her nonverbal autistic sister Music, portrayed by Ziegler.
Almost immediately after nominations came out, Sia posted a series of tweets, which remained available for approximately an hour before she deleted her Twitter account entirely, according to Variety. Her Instagram account remains active, but these comments are not posted there.
In the first two, Sia wrote, "I promise, have been listening. The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie: 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."
She followed those with a two word message, open for interpretation. "I'm sorry," she wrote. Whether she means for her usage of restraint in the film only, or for the general response to the film from the autistic community remains unclear.
In regard to those scenes from the film involving restraints, Sia posted in an additional tweet, "I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printings," explaining. "I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough."
It is also unclear if the warning about the use of restraints will be presented before the film even after it no longer include those scenes. "Music" is slated for release at select IMAX theaters on February 10 before being made available on demand two days later.
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