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Sia’s ‘Music’ Movie Faces Backlash from Autistic Community

Pop singer/songwriter Sia is facing criticism on social media following the release of the trailer for her directorial debut, titled “Music,” on Thursday. In the inspirational musical drama, Sia casts her longtime collaborator Maddie Ziegler as an autistic teenager, and Twitter users were quick to knock Sia for not placing an actually autistic person in the role, accusing the Grammy-nominated singer of ableism.

“Several autistic actors, myself included, responded to these tweets. We all said we could have acted in it on short notice. These excuses are just that- excuses,” tweeted one user. “The fact of the matter is zero effort was made to include anyone who is actually autistic. #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs”

“Maybe you’re just a bad actor,” Sia wrote in response.

Directed by Sia, “Music” is co-written by the pop icon with Dallas Clayton, with Sia writing and performing all of the songs. It’s set for a theatrical release in IMAX in February. Star Ziegler is best known for her dance work in the majority of Sia’s music videos, from “Chandelier” to “Elastic Heart.”

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