Over 66,000 people have signed an online petition calling for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to pull two Golden Globe nominations for Sia’s film, Music.
The Chandelier hitmaker, who made her directorial debut with the musical drama, has come under fire for its portrayal of autism, with signers of the Change.org petition labelling it “severely ableist” and arguing it contributes to “harmful stereotypes of autistic people.”
“The Golden Globes must rescind its two nominations for Best Musical/Comedy Picture and Best Musical/Comedy Actress: Kate Hudson, and the entertainment industry must promise to actively work towards inclusion and better disability representation,” the author of the petition insisted.
Along with Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr., Music stars dancer Maddie Ziegler, a frequent collaborator of Sia’s, as its titular character, a non-verbal autistic teen. Signers of the petition oppose Ziegler’s casting, contending that: “Actual autistic people were ignored in the casting process when Sia cast neurotypical Maddie Ziegler to play the autistic character, Music, because she ‘can’t do a project without her’.”
Furthermore, the movie features fantasy musical sequences that take place inside Music’s mind, which use strobing lights and quick camera movements, rendering it unwatchable for many of those with autism and epilepsy.
“Sia has made it in such a way that a majority of us will be unable to watch it,” the petition’s writer fumed.
Although Sia hasn’t accepted the criticisms of the film, deleting her Twitter account since the debate became heated, the singer has apologized for one scene, which shows an autistic character being restrained. She promised to attach a warning to the film, stating it: “in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people”.
– Cover Media