This post is all about Sia’s upcoming film Music, that features a lead Autistic character with the same name as the title. First impressions, I feel that this film is going to end up as an “inspiration porn” piece catered towards the neurotypical Crowd. It’s 2020, I thought people knew better by now!
Sia is a well known music artist who has collaborated with Maddie Ziegler in previous music videos. With hits like Titanium and Chandelier. The obscured faced woman has now branched out to making a film all about an Autistic character. That sounds great right?
Well, that is till you see the details of discourse below.
Sia is ignorant toward the autistic community
Sia has clearly not reached out to the autistic community. She has spoken to doctors, not autistics (although she claims on her twitter that she has spoken to two). She needs to hear experiences, not just medical symptoms. Each autistic person is different.
In this interview, She compares this film to a “Musical Rainman.” Again, she clearly doesn’t listen to autistics. We are trying to get away from the stereotypes of this. We want more representation. From all of the spectrum, even those that are non-verbal. We got this representation from Loop, why stop there?
This is a step backwards for autistic representation and repeating past mistakes. According to the trailer at least. Calling an autistic lead “Music” sounds very patronising to me. Bad choice of character naming.
Why is this trailer a problem?
Let’s delve into the trailer before we discuss more on Sia. Music, to me, didn’t look like an autistic lead film. It looked like someone parading as one and making it sugary sweet and cute. It just looked like a typical musical film about a girl. Not an autistic one. This gives me bad vibes. Seeing a neurotypical pretty face acting like an autistic is very controversial.
However, The worst thing about this is Sia’s attitude.
We can ONLY watch the trailer Sia. Sit down!
Sia comes across as a woman who can’t take criticism and lashes out at others, even calling one autistic a “bad actor”. I feel that she’s using the same gimmick over and over, as in using Maddie as the lead to make the show look pretty. It feels like a star studded film, not an authentic story about an autistic’s musical journey.
The worst thing that displays Sia’s lack of research is that she’s allied with Autism Speaks. The final nail in the coffin. She only realised how bad they are when the Autistic community told her online. Again, poor researching skills. She contradicts herself, stating that she has done three years of autism research, while not being aware of Autism Speaks bad reputation. It just doesn’t make sense.
I’m really disappointed with this. Another famous person wanting to make an “inspirational” story about someone with “special abilities”
It’s just so patronising. Even some parents are upset with this. Not cool.
You know it’s bad when a big named charity criticised her work.
Society let’s actors fake stim, but when we document ours online. We are either fake or we shouldn’t do it. This example shows how these films don’t work for autistic representation.
As I can only comment on the trailer. I will keep an eye out on the full film in 2021…
To Sia. Good intentions mean nothing if you hurt others in the process. Listen and learn. Don’t give in to the ableist stereotypes and ideals.