TV & Movies

Sia Apologized For Music Controversy Before Deactivating Her Twitter

The film faced backlash for casting Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teenager.

Amy Sussman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sia's celebrations were cut short by controversy. In tweets reportedly posted on Wednesday, Feb. 3, Sia apologized for the controversy surrounding her new film Music, which just earned two Golden Globe nominations: Best Film — Musical or Comedy and Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for star Kate Hudson. The film, which marks Sia's directorial debut, follows Hudson's character Zu, a newly sober drug dealer who must care for her autistic half-sister, Music, played by Ziegler. Shortly after apologizing, the singer deactivated her Twitter.

In the wake of controversy surrounding Music, Sia has decided to recut the film to remove scenes showing restraint being used on Ziegler's character as she's having a breakdown, something that is highly discouraged by the autism community. Additionally, the film will now have a warning to viewers preceding it. "I promise, have been listening," she wrote in the now deactivated tweets, according to Entertainment Weekly, before outlining the warning that will now show before the film:

"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 with meltdown safety."

Sia went on to explain that she used the "wrong people" to advise her on the film. "That is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough," she said, before tweeting, "I'm sorry" and deactivating her account shortly after.

When Music's first trailer was released in November, Ziegler's casting as an autistic teenager was criticized by many in the autistic community, with Sia facing accusations of ableism. Responding to users on Twitter, Sia explained that she tried casting an actor on the autism spectrum before casting Ziegler. "I actually tried working with a beautiful young girl non verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful," she wrote. "So that's why I cast Maddie." She also claimed to have cast "13 neuroatypical people" and "three trans folk" to play doctors, nurses, and singers in the film.

In a January interview, the singer defended her decision to cast Ziegler once again and said that she consulted with "medical experts" on set for her performance. "I realized 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," she said. "I wouldn't make art if it didn't include her."