just to be clear, the fact that music was nominated for a golden globe is absolutely disgusting. every single (adult) involved in that gross, ableist movie should be sickened by themselves.
for those of you who don't know, music (2021) is a movie being directed by sia about a nonverable autistic girl. not only does it not include any actually autistic people in the movie itself but it also only took advice from autism speaks which is looked at as a hate group by the majority of the autistic community. leaked scenes have also shown the movie glorifying prone restraints which are incredibly dangerous and have resulted in major injuries and even death to disabled people as recently as last year.
autistic people just like me have been incredibly outspoken about how harmful this movie is but the allistic have been mostly silent. we are already seeing reviews calling this movie 'inspiring' and important' and it's absolutely horrific! we need your help calling this out. please stand with us and call out this disgusting display of disrespect to autistic folks.
💛 - your local actually autistic pal
p.s. please, please reblog if you aren't autistic.
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the singer sia is an ableist
((i know scrolling through and reblogging long posts can be annoying sometimes, but if you have the time please read through and reblog because i’m sick and people need to know about this))
this movie is called music and it’s about a supposedly about a nonverbal, austistic girl named music. the problem? music is played by maddie ziegler
maddie is neurotypical (individuals of typical developmental, intellectual, and cognitive abilities,) ie: she is NOT on the spectrum and NOT disabled. so there’s the first issue. but then we get into sia’s response to the whole thing which ends up being worse somehow
people are obviously and rightfully upset with maddie’s casting.
so what was sia’s response to the criticism?
“oh well, we tried”
now i work as a paraprofessional in an elementary school and many of our students are on the spectrum, nonverbal, disabled, or some combination of all three and/or more. sometimes working with students with disabilities can be challenging but the biggest lesson i have learned in the last 3 years is that there are always ways to be ACCOMMODATING because it often is a LOT more difficult for the student who is neurodiverse than the adult who is neurotypical. i have seen tremendous growth when working with students with educational and social disabilities when they are given the appropriate accommodations, patience, and understanding.
the actress sia and this team worked with probably did find the whole situation daunting and stressful, because like the fucking movie says in the trailer, her brain is DIFFERENT FROM OURS. if this movie was really about spreading awareness about disabilities, they would have accommodated to the actress so that she could work stress free and feel safe and if they couldn’t figure out how to do that, they shouldn’t have made the fucking movie at all
sia also manages to criticize sex workers and people struggling from addictions at the same time during her “defense”
let’s see what else?
oh the movie is not accessible
there are no also no fucking captions for a movie supposedly about disabilities
oh and autism speaks is involved too which sia justifies “not knowing how garbage they are” on a MOVIE ABOUT A GIRL WHO IS ON THE SPECTRUM HOW FUCKING STUPID DO YOU HAVE TO BE
this one actress states that she and many other austistic actors said they would be a part of the movie short notice
to which sia had to say this
i’m not trying to be a proponent of cancel culture but this is fucking DISGUSTING. sia is trying to justify her actions with ableist bullshit. she’s upset that people are judging her movie “before they’ve seen it” when it’s CLEARLY NOT WORTH SEEING because like many people have pointed out, this movie is NOT an accurate portrayal of disabilities, not accessible, the people involved clearly didn’t put the effort and time into making something that actually brought any kind of awareness, and all of this boils down to sia and her team being a bunch of ableist who weren’t willing to put in the effort or time.
imagine having such a large platform as these celebrities have and creating an ableist, garbage piece of media that only polarizes and discriminates even further and then acting like you’re the victim in the situation. i’m DISGUSTED, APPALLED, ANGERED, and OUTRAGED and you should too.
people on the spectrum matter, nonverbal people matter, people with disabilities matter, neurodiverse people matter.
while we do our social justice thing to shut down racism, sexism, homophobia, etc, let’s remember to shut down ableism as well because it fucking matters too
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“So you’re condemning Sia for not hiring an autistic actor, but have no problem with Tom Hanks and Leonardo DiCaprio?! Sounds like a double standard!”
The movies you’re referring to are Forrest Gump (1994) and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993), respectively; both movies feature characters with intellectual disabilities who are played by neurotypical actors. We absolutely can and should be calling them out for their irresponsible casting choices.
HOWEVER, it’s important to note that these movies were made nearly 30 years ago, at a time where disabled voices were still struggling to be heard and respected by mainstream society, and social media wasn’t around to amplify our voices like it does now. It wasn’t magically ‘okay’ because it was the 90′s, but studios could easily get away with things like this because they didn’t face much, if any, backlash.
Job opportunities were rare for disabled and neurodivergent individuals, let alone ones involving the arts. It was still considered ‘progress’ just to see disabled people being hired as greeters at Wal-Mart. Systematic barriers such as limited opportunities for education, limited career options, and inherent biases from casting directors meant that prospective disabled actors had less opportunities to practice their craft; therefor, they were often unable to make a career out of it. There really were less disabled actors at this time, however this is completely due to systematic barriers and not the actors’ inherent talent or personal choices. Because we have since made progress eliminating these barriers, modern media can and should be held to a higher standard by selecting disabled actors for disabled roles.
The two actors mentioned above chose to portray their characters with skilled nuance, depth, and mannerisms that many intellectually disabled people have without turning it into an offensive caricature. The same cannot be said for Maddie Ziegler’s depiction of her autistic character. Maddie’s portrayed ‘stims’ are crude and overly exaggerated, and while there is by no means a ‘wrong’ way to stim, they are far more similar to immature middle schoolers making fun of their special-ed peers, rather than an actual nonverbal autistic person’s physically active stims. Basically, out of these three neurotypical actors playing disabled characters, the others did it well, and Maddie did not. (That being said, I want to be very careful about how I criticize Maddie Ziegler. Even though she’s an adult, she has been groomed and manipulated by Sia since she was a child, and was practically forced into this role. While she may have had some say in how she portrayed the character and possibly made these poor choices herself, it is very likely that Sia took control and forcibly molded Maddie’s character into the crude caricature we see.)
Outside of the autistic character herself, Sia’s movie disrespects the autistic community in many other ways, including other characters’ infantilizing the character, showing the forceful restraint a nonviolent autistic in the middle of a meltdown (if there is no physical towards the self or others, then there is absolutely no need to restrain, period), and using prone restraints (which have literally killed people in the past, and are widely condemned by the disabled community, those with mental illnesses, special educators, and the medical field for how dangerous and unhelpful they are in crisis situations where less invasive forms of restraint can be used if necessary).
Sia chose to depict autistics as both babyish and monstrous. She deliberately crafted scenes that encourage the audience to either pity or fear this character, but never treat her as a fellow human worthy of consideration or respect. And yes, this can and will impact how this neurotypical audience will think is the “right” way to interact with autistics in their daily life.
TL;DR: Yes, Sia’s new movie IS that bad.
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