Sia quits Twitter after backlash over autism depiction in her movie ‘Music’

The Chandelier hitmaker has removed her account from the microblogging platform amid controversy over her new film Music, which has faced criticism over the 45-year-old singer-and-director’s decision to cast Maddie Ziegler as a character with autism, rather than a non-neurotypical actress.

Watch the ‘Music’ trailer with Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler:

Sia’s deletion came shortly after she promised the film, which also stars Kate Hudson, will air with a disclaimer.

Before getting rid of her account, she posted: “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.(sic)”

‘More compassionate’ than autistic actress

Sia previously insisted it was more “compassionate” to cast Maddie in the film than an autistic actress.

She tweeted: “I did try. It felt more compassionate to use Maddie. That was my call…

“I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f****** prostitutes or drug addicts but as doctors, nurses and singers. F****** sad nobody’s even seen the dang movie. My heart has always been in the right place.(sic)”

426fc5f1 sia - Sia quits Twitter after backlash over autism depiction in her movie ‘Music’
Sia, left, and Maddie Ziegler perform on stage during an Apple event at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, California on 7 September 2016. Image: Josh Edelson / AFP

And Sia also insisted she simply couldn’t work without Maddie.

She said: “I realised it wasn’t ableism.

“I mean, it is ableism I guess as well, but it’s actually nepotism because I can’t do a project without her. I don’t want to. I wouldn’t make art if it didn’t include her.”

Sia: ‘I couldn’t really protect’ Maddie from criticism

Maddie — who has starred in many of Sia’s music videos, including the promos for Elastic Heart and Chandelier — feared people would think she was “making fun” of autistic people.

Sia insisted: “I bold-facedly said, ‘I won’t let that happen.’”

However, she realised she cannot “protect” her from the criticism.

The Unstoppable hitmaker added: “Last week, I realised I couldn’t really protect her from that, which I thought I could. We sent it off to the Child Mind Institute and she received 100% as performance accuracy. I realise that there are some things I can’t protect her from as much as I try.”

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