Sia’s movie, Music, released February 10, 2021 stars Maddie Ziegler who plays an autistic girl. You may be wondering: what’s wrong with that? Well to put it simply, a lot is wrong.
Sia stated that she can’t do anything without Maddie. I understand being connected to someone so much that you want to do every project with them, however, Maddie could have been in the movie playing a different character instead of trying to portray an autistic girl. Maddie is neurotypical, which means she is not autistic. So again, why is this wrong? Allow me to elaborate.
Not only was there an actress willing to play the role as an autistic person herself, but she was unable to follow through due to the poor work conditions.
In the film, the character Maddie plays is restrained. This angered the autistic community because autistic people have been killed by restraints. Even in 2021 people still don’t have a full understanding that restraining someone autistic is more harmful than helpful.
Lastly, Sia is receiving backlash for not starring an actual autistic girl for the roll because it’s ableist to star a neurotypical in the place of someone who actually knows what it’s like to be autistic.
Ableism by definition according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “:discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities.”
In summary, seeing Sia’s movie will support her actions to star a neurotypical playing the role of an autistic. This is not okay, and should not still being happening in 2021. I refuse to see the film, I hope this information encourages you to spread awareness of this issue and to not see Music.