Sia faces backlash for casting Maddie Ziegler in her upcoming film ‘Music’

The singer is facing criticism over the tone-deaf casting choice.
November 19, 2020 6:14 p.m. EST
November 20, 2020 4:50 p.m. EST
In case you missed it, Sia has been busy. The Australian singer-songwriter, praised by fans worldwide for her talents both behind the mic for her own music, and behind the scenes of other artist’s hit tracks, has been hard at work on her upcoming film, 'Music.'Earlier today, Sia announced the release of the official soundtrack for the film, which is slated to drop on February 12th. Today also marked the reveal of the film’s first trailer, giving fans a glimpse into the cast of stars set to bring Sia’s story to life on the big screen, including fan-favourite Kate Hudson, Leslie Odom Jr. and, notably, Maddie Ziegler. And while some fans are thrilled at the news, other are… well, a bit disappointed. Specifically, there are questions surrounding Ziegler’s eligibility to play her assigned character. Of course, Ziegler shouldn’t be considered as a surprise casting. After all, the talented young dancer has long-since become Sia’s prodigy of sorts, as she is frequently featured front and centre in the singer’s projects. In fact, Sia has actually been named her godmother.The fan backlash can be better understood when looking at the plot of the movie. Hudson is set to play a character named Zu, who is a "newly sober drug dealer and self-saboteur" who ends up in the role of guardian for her half-sister, Music (played by Zieger). The catch? Music is a teenager with special needs, and Zu quickly turns to her friend, Ebo (played by Odom Jr.), to help her navigate this new page of her and her sister’s life. True to her name, Zu’s sister uses music to express herself, as she is unable to communicate verbally.Fans, in this case, are disappointed to see that they cast a neurotypical, non-disabled person as the lead. Some fans came to Sia’s defense, noting that she received a ‘green light’ for her plans for the project from The Child Mind Institute. Sia has yet to address today’s backlash, but we imagine the artist will explain her casting decision while promoting the film prior to its February debut.[video_embed id='2071370']RELATED: Anne Hathaway apologizes after ‘The Witches’ controversy.[/video_embed]

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