Sia Defends Choice to Cast Maddie Ziegler as Autistic Character in ‘Music’

Sia Defends Choice to Cast Maddie Ziegler as Autistic Character in ‘Music’

12/16/2020

Sia is defending her decision to cast Maddie Ziegler as a character with autism in her upcoming movie Music.

Following the trailer’s release last month, Sia faced criticism for casting a non-autistic actress, Maddie, as a character with autism, as well as partnering with Autism Speaks, a company that has faced controversy and condemnation for alleged exploitative practices in the past.

“There is no way I could have used someone of Maddie’s level of functioning to play her,” Sia said during an interview on Wednesday (Decmeber 16) with an Australian publication (via ET). “I also needed a dancer, for [the character’s] imaginary life.”

Here’s a synopsis of the movie: Zu (Kate Hudson) is newly sober when she receives news that she is to become the sole guardian of her half-sister named Music (Ziegler), a young girl on the autism spectrum. The film explores two of Sia’s favorite themes: finding your voice and creating family.

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