Singer songwriter Sia who recently turned director with her film Music is under fire from the allies of people with autism. A Change.org petition has been launched against the latest announcement that the film has been nominated for two Golden Globes Awards. The petition demands that the nominations for Music in two categories — Best Motion Picture and Best Actress (for Kate Hudson) Comedy or musical — should be removed from the 78th Golden Globe Awards.
The petition against Sia’s Music is gaining traction as it has been signed by over 67,000 people. Calling the movie ‘severely ableist,’ the petition says that apart from the Golden Globes Awards taking back the nominations, it also seeks that the entertainment industry should promise to work towards inclusion and improve the representation of disabilities in films.
Since its release in January 2021, Music has been criticised for its casting and representation of people with autism. Sia’s film stars Maddie Ziegler in the role of an autistic person even though she is not autistic in real life and that has been a reason for criticism. Another reason which has been mentioned in the petition is that the film has many ‘strobing’ colours and lights along with quick camera movements which makes it very overstimulating and the majority of people with autism would not be able to watch it.
The online petition has been started by Nina Skov Jensen who describes herself as a Danish autism activist. Nina mentions that she was diagnosed with autism when she was a child and since then, she has fought for the rights of people with autism.
Before the petition was created, Sia had apologised for the depiction of autism in the film amid growing backlash in January 2021. She had said that she plans to remove the scenes of restraint from the film. However, as reported by The Guardian, she deleted the tweet soon after tweeting it.
However, in November 2020, Sia had defended herself and as reported by Page Six, even went to the extent of calling an autistic performer a bad actor.