Will Sia's ‘Music' be revoked by Golden Globes? Petition gets 97,000 signatures as angry fans call it ‘ableist'

Will Sia's ‘Music' be revoked by Golden Globes? Petition gets 97,000 signatures as angry fans call it ‘ableist'
Sia and Maddie Ziegler (Getty Images)

Sia has been facing a lot of heat for her debut directorial feature ‘Music’ since the day she released the film’s trailer. The Australian crooner has been dragged several times on the Internet for not casting an autistic individual for the lead role and opting for her apparent favorite actor, dancer and model  Maddie Ziegler.

Now, in the latest piece of news, the ‘Chandelier’ hitmaker is again facing backlash for her film as the Internet now wants her two Golden Globes nominations revoked and a petition for the same has already got a thundering response from the netizens. For the unversed, the singer has been nominated this year for two Golden Globes Awards 2021 i.e. Best Motion Picture and Best Actress (for Kate Hudson) Comedy or musical.

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Dancer Maddie Ziegler and singer/songwriter Sia attend The 57th Annual GRAMMY Awards at the STAPLES Center on February 8, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

Petition gets over 97,000 signatures

A Change.org petition has gained momentum where people are asking for Sia’s name to be removed from the Golden Globes’ nominations list. The online petition was started by Nina Skov Jensen, who according to multiple reports describes herself as a Danish autism activist. The petition which has got over 97,000 signatures, states, “Sia's debut movie ‘Music’ is severely ableist and contributes to harmful stereotypes of autistic people. The Golden Globes must rescind its two nominations for “Best Musical/Comedy Picture” and “Best Musical/Comedy Actress: Kate Hudson” and the entertainment industry must promise to actively work towards inclusion and better disability representation.”

The petition further reads, “Sia’s handling of the comments by disability activists so far has been insensitive, irresponsible, and invalidating. When faced with justified critique, Sia decided to personally attack members of the community eg. when she replied: “maybe you’re just a bad actor” to one autistic individual who expressed their ability and willingness to act in her movie.” It also states, “In light of this damning evidence, we call on the Golden Globes to rescind its nomination in both categories. We also call upon the entertainment industry to create a more inclusive workspace that will allow autistic people to become part of the industry.” The petitioner also added, “When representing autistic people, listen to actual autistic people, not just social workers, parents and organisations. We are the only ones who knows what is best for us and what it is like to be us.” Click here to read the full petition.  

Sia and dancer Maddie Ziegler perform at Barclays Center on October 25, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)

What is the entire controversy about?

The casting of Maddie in the movie ‘Music’ irked many viewers. Sia had earlier defended the decision of casting Maddie in her directorial debut as she was not an autistic individual which the role demanded. She had faced a lot of heat from social media users even after she tried her best to make them understand in her multiple tweets that she did try hiring a person with autism. While replying to a tweet, she said, “I actually tried working with a beautiful young girl non-verbal on the spectrum and she found it unpleasant and stressful. So that’s why I cast Maddie.”


In another tweet, the Grammy nominee asserted, “The character was pretty low functioning and after attempting a few actors on the spectrum they suggested I use Maddie.” She added that she “spent three f**king years researching” the project, which is why she was “so f**king bummed” by the criticism. She also mentioned, “I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f**king prostitutes or drug addicts but as doctors, nurses and singers,” adding, “F**king sad nobody’s even seen the dang movie. My heart has always been in the right place.” Sia was also slammed for her obsession with Maddie as she apparently signs the young talent for every project she does. Maddie also faced heat when she was dragged for being racist over apparently wearing black make-up in the movie. 

Singer/songwriter Sia (R) and dancer Maddie Ziegler perform onstage during CBS Radio's We Can Survive at the Hollywood Bowl (presented by 5 Hour Energy) on October 24, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

Sia’s apology failed to stop the petition

Despite Sia’s apology, the autistic community started the petition. After getting the thumbs down for her Golden Globes nods, Sia had apologized on Twitter and then deactivated her respective social media account in the first week of February, as reported by the website Cinema Blend. She had said, “I’m sorry. I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printings. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough.”

“I promise, have been listening. The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie: MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people.”  She further said, “There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help w meltdown safety.” Sia’s movie, ‘Music’, tells the story of Zu, played by Kate Hudson, a drug dealer who is trying to say sober. Things fall out of place when she is named the sole legal guardian of her autistic half-sister, Music played by Maddie. 

Sia performs at Barclays Center on October 25, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)

‘I wonder how much Sia paid for the Golden Globe nominations'

Social media users rushed to Twitter to talk about revoking the Golden Globe nominations Sia earned recently. One user stated, “The Golden Globes Must Rescind the Nomination for Sia’s Ableist Movie “Music” One posted, “Sia’s film “Music” was nominated for a golden globe?? Really?? That movie was so offensive on so many different levels and they nominated it for a golden globe. I will not be watching. #Boycottthegoldenglobes”

The next one shared, “Especially horrible when really progressive and helpful films like Prom and Borat were also nominated. Like the Golden Globe should absolutely know better than to nominate a film with such horrible depictions of autism as Music.” One added, “Im still pissed that Music got nominated for two golden globes, not only was it extraordinarily offensive. IT WASN’T EVEN A GOOD! EVEN IT IT WASNT OFFENSIVE IT STILL WAS A S**T MOVIE, AND IT WAS OFFENSIVE! How the F**K did it get nominated for two, TWO, golden globes.” One said, “I wonder how much sia paid for the golden globe nominations for music.” 

Sia and dancer Maddie Ziegler perform at Barclays Center on October 25, 2016 in New York City. (Getty Images)











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