Sia is defending her new movie Music after receiving backlash over its casting along with other accusations.
According to Variety, the film tells the story of Zu, who has an estranged relationship with her family and then finds herself as the sole guardian to her half-sister Music, a teenager on the autism spectrum.
But when the trailer was released on Thursday, Nov. 19, many viewers were disappointed to see that Sia’s longtime collaborator Maddie Ziegler had been cast to play Music rather than an actor who is autistic.
“This is totally unacceptable and there are no excuses, you should know better than to allow able bodied & neurotypical to represent the disabled community,” one follower wrote. “It’s incredibly offensive as is the infantalisation of the character. Sickened. And not even captioned. Don’t release this.”
Sia then explained she “actually tried working with…a beautiful young girl non verbal on the spectrum” and the actress “found it unpleasant and stressful,” which is why she cast Ziegler.