His defends her new film Music after receiving backlash about the casting along with other allegations.
According to Variety, the film tells the story of Zu, who has an estranged relationship with her family and then finds herself the sole custodian of her half-sister Music, a teenager on the autism spectrum.
When the trailer was released on Thursday, November 19th, many viewers were disappointed to see Sia’s longtime associate Maddie Ziegler was cast for music rather than an autistic actor.
“This is totally unacceptable and there are no excuses. You should know better than to allow the disabled community to be physically and neurotypically represented,” wrote one follower. “It’s incredibly offensive, as is the infantalization of the character. Ill. And not even with subtitles. Don’t let that go.”
Sia then explained that she had “actually tried to work with … a beautiful young girl who is non-verbal on the spectrum,” and the actress “found it uncomfortable and stressful,” which is why she cast Ziegler.