Already more than 50,000 people have signed a petition for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to withdraw the two Golden Globe nominations it awarded to the film “Music”, directed by Australian singer Sia.
Not only that. They also ask that the platforms that show the film stop doing it.
The reason they allege is that they consider that the way in which the film presents its autistic protagonist is “offensive” and contributes to perpetuating “harmful stereotypes” about people with this condition.
In addition, they criticize that the dancer Maddie Ziegler has been chosen to play a young woman with autism, instead of an actress who is part of the autism spectrum, and that the film shows scenes in which the protagonist is immobilized by force.
The controversy grew a few weeks ago when it became known that “Music” had been nominated for best film at the Golden Globes in the category of comedy or musical, and that one of its protagonists, Kate Hudson, was competing for the best actress award.
In the film, which has also been beaten by specialized critics, Hudson plays a woman with addiction problems who becomes the guardian of her half-sister Music, a teenage girl with autism (Maddie Ziegler), after the death of her grandmother.
After the controversy broke out, Sia apologized for casting a “neurotypical” actress for the role of Music and for the scenes showing the use of force with autistic people.
Furthermore, the Australian singer said that a warning would be added at the beginning of the movie and that said scenes would be removed from public screenings of the film.
“I plan to remove the freeze scenes from all future copies. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not exhaustive enough, it was not extensive enough,” the singer tweeted shortly before deleting her account from Twitter, which had about 6 million. followers.
“I promise, I’ve been listening. The Music movie in the future will have that warning at the beginning,” he said.
The controversy surrounding “Music” began last November, when a petition was posted for the film to be canceled, which Sia described as “a love letter to caregivers and the autistic community”.
Speaking recently with documentary filmmaker Louis Theroux, Sia acknowledged that the challenges and experiences for people with autism are varied, and said she wanted that to be reflected on screen.
“If you went and met everyone on the autism spectrum in the world, you would never find two the same,” he said.
Critics have had no mercy on the film starring Maddie Ziegler, who appeared in several of the video clips of Sia’s songs, such as the one for the song Chandelier.
“This is a strange movie, one that parades confused ideas about care, fantasy and disability with a pride that reads like vanity. It is bold, in the sense that doing it certainly required some audacity, “wrote Teo Bugbee in the New York Times.
“Music is a song you better not listen to; spare your ears, your mind and your heart,” Richard Lawson noted on Vanity Fair.
For Drew Miller Hyndman, disability correspondent
People with autism had been speaking out against “Music” from the day the project was announced, with complaints centered on stereotypes about autistic people and the decision to cast Maddie Ziegler, a non-autistic actress, as the lead.
The strong feelings behind these complaints were exacerbated when Sia spoke directly to autistic people on social media.
In a tweet, he even called someone a “bad actor.”
For many in the autistic community, Sia’s apologies are not enough and they have come late. The damage is already done.
Remember that you can receive notifications from BBC News Mundo. Download our app and activate them so you don’t miss our best content.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.