Music backlash builds: Amid severe criticism surrounding singer and now director Sia’s film Music, which is being slammed for its “insensitive” portrayal of people with autism, a petition has emerged online asking for the cancellation of her Golden Globes 2021 nomination.
Music, released in January this year, has earned two Globes nominations, for actor Kate Hudson in the Best Actress in a Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) category and for the film itself in the Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy) category.
The film, which sees 18-year-old Maddie Ziegler in the role of an autistic girl, has been widely panned by critics and audiences alike since its release, most notably from the autistic community.
Music Backlash Sparks Online Petition
A Change.org petition, which has garnered 97,873 signatures, claims “Music is severely ableist and contributes to harmful stereotypes of autistic people. The Golden Globes must rescind its two nominations…”
Sia had earlier defended casting Ziegler in the role of a person with autism, saying, “I realised 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.”
Film promotes “ableism”: Music backlash grows
The petition, reacting to that remark, says, “That is not a valid reason… If we look at Ziegler’s portrayal, the answer is by stereotypically mimicking autistic people the exact same way autistic people have been bullied and mocked their entire lives.”
Claiming the film’s sequences may evoke discomfort among the autistic community, the petition charges, “…the music segments are filled with strobing lights, colors, loud sounds, and quick camera movements, which is very overstimulating. About 1 in 4 autistic people have epilepsy, so the movie can cause seizures…”
Here is how social media has reacted to the film:
As many of you may know, I’m autistic and I’ve just seen Sia’s new film MUSIC. I don’t want to talk about it because it’s pretty much a total mess but if you are interested in seeing films/TV about autism, I’m gonna use this thread to recommend a few: pic.twitter.com/8diS4c3M8I
— Theo Smith (@KestonTheo) February 13, 2021
I’m watching Sia’s movie, in order to write a detailed & chronological review (so that nobody else watches it out of curiosity).
But for now, I just want the public to see a few things that speak for themselves, starting with this image: pic.twitter.com/jPqtd5tLOz
— The Autisticats (@autisticats) February 12, 2021
The ableist film, Music, by Sia, is being nominated for best musical/comedy. This is absolutely disgusting as this is slander to autistic people. This movie shows disturbing scenes of what not to do to autistic people, and misrepresents them awfully. pic.twitter.com/QycsmSVRes
— nis ↯ blm (@bIueniss_) February 19, 2021
I need to see more non-disabled, non-neurodivergent people being angry about Sia's film Music getting nominated for a fucking Golden Globe.
Like, right now, please and thank you.
— Errol Kerr (@criptacular) February 13, 2021