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Sia Apologises for Autism Depiction in ‘Music’ After Scooping Golden Globe Nominations

Australian artist tweeted out several apologies before deleting her Twitter account

Sia walking the red carpet at the 2017 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Graydon Carter held at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills on February 26, 2017.

Sthanlee Mirador/SIPA USA/AP Images

Sia has apologized for some depictions of autism in her directorial feature film debut Music after the movie snagged two Golden Globe nominations — specifically the depiction of the restraint of an autistic character.

The film has raised controversy for casting neurotypical actress Maddie Ziegler as a nonverbal autistic woman who constantly listens to music through her headphones. Disability activists took issue with one scene in particular, in which Ziegler’s character is shown being held in a prone restraint, a highly controversial, traumatic, and sometimes lethal practice that is largely opposed within the autism community. An online petition calling for Music to be canceled has nearly 18,000 signatures.

The Australian recording artist tweeted several apologies, promising to remove the restraint scenes from the film and saying that it would be updated with a warning before deleting her Twitter account altogether.

“I’m sorry,” she simply said in one post. In another, she added, “I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printings. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough.”

She added that the film’s warning would read: “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 [sic] meltdown safety.”

Music picked up a nomination for Best Picture (Comedy/Musical), while Kate Hudson was also nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy or Musical.

From Rolling Stone US