‘We demand justice’: Petition to ban Sia’s controversial autism film Music draws more than 60,000 signatures

Petition also asks for film’s Golden Globe nominations to be rescinded

Adam White
Thursday 18 February 2021 08:40
Music (2021 film) trailer
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More than 60,000 people have signed a petition to ban Sia’s controversial film Music.

Music, starring Kate Hudson and Maddie Ziegler, revolves around a recovering addict who becomes a carer for her half-sister, who has autism.

The film has been trailed by controversy for months. Sia has been condemned for casting the neurotypical Ziegler as a neurodivergent character, and for including scenes in which an autistic character is restrained in a physical position that has led to injuries and even death in reality.

A new petition published to Change.org, written by two individuals who identify as “autistic” and an “autism ally”, now calls on the film’s backers to “immediately stop” distributing it, along with streaming platforms which are currently hosting the film.

The petition also urges the entertainment industry to “create a more inclusive workspace” for neurodivergent people, and for the film’s Golden Globes nominations to be rescinded.

Read more: Maddie Ziegler: ‘I knew that people were going to love Music or hate it’

Despite receiving poor reviews, Music is nominated for two awards at this month’s Golden Globes: Best Picture (Comedy/Musical) and Best Actress in a Comedy/Musical for Hudson.

“When representing autistic people, listen to actual autistic people, not just social workers, parents and organisations,” the petition reads. “We are the only ones who know what is best for us and what it is like to be us.”

It continues: “We call on the actors to apologise and distance themselves from the movie. Your silence is louder than you think. Lastly, we call on YOU to sign this petition, to share it, to demand justice, to be an ally of autistic people, and to listen to the autistic community. Let’s make history together!”

Read more: Music review: Sia’s catastrophic directorial debut uses autism like it’s a ‘Live, Laugh, Love’ poster

As of 18 February, more than 66,000 people have signed the petition, which aims to receive 75,000 signatures.

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Earlier this month, Sia apologised for some of the content in Music, writing in a statement: “I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough, not wide enough. I’m sorry.”

In its review of the film, The Independent called Music “a colossal failure”.

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