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Sia defends casting a nondisabled actor to portray a person with autism in her upcoming film 'Music'

November 21, 2020. Summarized by summa-bot.

Pop singer Sia is responding to the backlash to her upcoming film that has been criticized for casting a nondisabled actor to portray a character who has autism. And she's furious.

(CNN)Pop singer Sia is responding to the backlash to her upcoming film that has been criticized for casting a nondisabled actor to portray a character who has autism.

The film's cast includes Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. and 18-year-old "Dance Moms" star Maddie Ziegler, who has often worked with the singer in several music videos.

The character is based on the artist's neuroatypical friend who found it stressful to be nonverbal, Sia said.

Many questioned the depiction of Ziegler's character, arguing that an autistic actor should have been cast in the role and that disabled people should be hired to tell their stories.

There are so many talented autistic actors out there," the National Autistic Society wrote in a Twitter post.

In a series of tweets and replies, Sia defended her decision to cast Ziegler in the role, saying she felt the use of a nondisabled actor was more compassionate.

Sia also wrote that she spent three years researching for the film, which she described as "both a love letter to caregivers and to the autism community. "

In response to criticism that the film excludes "disabled and neuro diverse actors" from their own narratives, the singer said she cast "thirteen neuroatypical people and three trans folk" as doctors, nurses and singers, not as "prostitutes or drug addicts. "

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