Last year, Sia released the film Music, which she directed and scored. The film starred dancer Maddie Ziegler portraying a nonverbal autistic teenage girl. Members of the autistic community condemned Sia for having a neurotypical person represent someone on the autism spectrum and slammed a particular scene that shows the character put in a dangerous restraint which can lead to suffocation. Though the film went on to win two Golden Globe awards, Sia now says the backlash was so intense that it led her to relapsing and having suicidal thoughts.
The singer recently spoke to The New York Times for a profile on actress and comedian Kathy Griffin, who is a dear friend of Sia’s. The singer explained how, following her film’s criticism, she “was suicidal and relapsed and went to rehab.” Sia went on to commend Griffin for her help, saying Griffin invited her out for dinner in Hollywood in order to generate some positive press around Sia’s name. “She saved my life,” Sia told The Times.
Following conversations about Music from the autistic community, Sia announced that her film will include a warning going forward. “I promise, have been listening,” she said. “The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie: MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people.”
Read Sia’s full New York Times interview here.
Sia is a Warner Music artist. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.