‘Music’ film with nonverbal autistic lead, directed by Sia

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cyberdad
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29 Nov 2020, 8:04 pm

Dvdz wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
How do you force Sia to find an autistic actor when there isn't necessarily a lot of choices.


Yea, I did some quick math:

Total Population in USA at Nov 30 2016: 323,901,968
(http://www.census.gov/popclock)

% of Population Female Aged 12-30 for 2016: 12.59%
(https://www.census.gov/popclock/data_tables.php?component=pyramid)

Total Females Aged 12-30: 323,901,968 * 0.1259 = 40,779,258

(https://data.census.gov/cedsci/table?q=detailed%20occupation&tid=ACSDT1Y2019.B24116&hidePreview=false)
Total Female Workforce (2018 5-year estimate): 72,470,194
Total Female Actors (2018 5-year estimate): 19,245
Total Female Dancers & Choreographers (2018 5-year estimate): 15,389

% Female Actors: 19,245 / 72,470,194 = 0.02656%
% Female Dancers & Choreographers: 15,389 / 72,470,194 = 0.02123%

Autism Prevalence in Girls (2016 ADDM): 0.69%
(https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data/index.html)

Estimated Female ASD 12-30: 40,779,258 * 0.0069 = 281,377

% of ASD who has worked: 47.70%
(https://nlts2.sri.com/data_tables/tables/14/np5T1b_A4bfrm.html)

Estimate of Female ASD 12-30 Workers: 281,377 * 0.477 = 134,217
Estimated Female ASD 12-30 Actors: 134,217 * 0.0002656 = 36
Estimated Female ASD 12-30 Dancers + Choreographers: 134,217 * 0.0002123 = 29
Female ASD 12-30 actors + dancers assuming 25% can do both: (36 * 0.25) + (29 * 0.25) = 16
Female ASD 12-30 actors + dancers assuming 10% can do both: (36 * 0.1) + (29 * 0.1) = 6

And this is probably an overestimate, as not everyone above 25 will be able to play a teenager and the percentage of people below 16 who are working is going to be lower. The oldest actress I know who played a teenager is Marie Avgeropoulos, who played Octavia, a 17-year-old, on The 100 when she was around 27-28.

But you've got people on twitter thinking that the number of available autistic actresses who can dance and look like teenagers number in the thousands (https://twitter.com/lore_poe/status/1332930398582607872), which is pretty unlikely given that there are only 19,245 actresses in the entire United States.

Given this, the fact that Sia or maybe the casting director managed to find one and tried to work with her is a remarkable feat.


Wow dude! that's pretty impressive.



cyberdad
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29 Nov 2020, 8:13 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
What you are view on Autism Speaks websites is quite different from what you would have seen 10+years ago. The whole leadership has changed, they dropped cure from their mission statement, Autistic people have been on their board of directors and one still is. Their Wikipedia article goes through many of the controversies, there are numerous threads about them on WP.

They were not a hate group like the KKK. They did not hate autistics they thought this horrible disease had seized their child. The potential end result of what they wanted is the same if autism is cured no autistic people. With their money and influence, there were legitimate reasons to view them as an existential threat.

The problem with the ND movement is they still view Autism Speaks as the way they were. I still read all the time about how they have no autistic board members and how they are seeking a cure. Do not get me wrong I still have serious issues with things Autism Speaks does, but propagating falsehoods hurts credibility.


Well put, agree with everything here, and yes you are perfectly entitled to critique what "Autism Speaks" says and does.

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The bottom line is not the casting it is how well does 'Music' represent nonverbal autism more specifically how will the young female audience the movie is meant for view autism after seeing the movie.

Speaking of older people trying to be young Sia is 44 years old but her reaction tweets read like a teen rant. I assume she has to tweet like that to relate to her audience. If you want to trigger a lot of Autistics do it the way Sia did it.


Sia probably could have handled the criticism differently. But I think positive portrayal should not be downplayed and Sia should be courted as a potential ally rather than a scapegoat.

I'm learning as I get older that antagonising people/groups you have disagreements with is not productive.



carlos55
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30 Nov 2020, 5:45 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Here and online there has been plenty of criticism by Autistics of fictional autistic characters for being stereotyped as savants and glossing over the struggles they deal with as autistic people.


NTs like films which show growth/overcoming obstacles so the idea of the underdog with so many flaws/challenges overcoming their problems to become some type of hero is a common template for movies. So I doubt that's ever going to change.

I thought the issue with Sia's film was the casting rather than the story? the idea an NT could play a severely autistic person. This was something I found a little uncomfortable with the casting of Freddie Highmore (an NT actor) as the autistic doctor in the "Good doctor". That particular role should have been played by somebody with autism.


I was reacting to Carlos's claim that the negative reaction demonstrates the ND movement's ableism because of lack of outrage to NT actors playing high functioning autistics.

Some of the criticism has been that the film is inspiration porn
An autistic actress deconstructs Sia’s 'Music' mess
Quote:
my anger at Sia is not simply because she called Maddie Ziegler and not me. My anger stems from the fact that Sia knowingly and deliberately packaged an offensive, reductive, and infantilizing appropriation of our neurology as self-aggrandizing inspiration porn for consumption by non-autistics.


An actually autistic person responds to Sia’s controversial new film Music
Quote:
While more autism representation is needed to facilitate acceptance and understanding, inauthentic and inaccurate representation for the abled gaze is harmful. It perpetuates reductive, othering stereotypes, exploiting autistic people for feel-good “inspiration porn” or comedic value.


Sia’s Music angers Autistic campaigners over ‘insulting’ choice of non-disabled actor
Quote:
As disabled people, we are not here for you to take pity on or to make you feel better. We are not inspiration porn.


But you are right, while "inspiration porn" is a new term it has been a popular movie theme for a long time. The "Wizard of Oz" is a humongous popular early example.


The linked article you provided from Ashley Wool is littered with ableist comments that typifies how neurodiversity treats those with severe autism.

From the article it’s clear the author doesn’t want autism associated with low functioning severe autistics. “The Good Doctor” “The Accountant” good however movies portraying severely disabled bad.

If its not denied the condition exists despite official diagnosis, they want them hidden away, airbrushed out of the picture just like how some advertisements change the skin colour of those featured in pictures from black to white to satisfy a target audience.

Maybe the author really thinks intelligent women of child bearing age have never heard of children being born severely mentally disabled? Quick cover it up nothing to see here!

No wonder she and others like her don`t like functioning labels LOL. :D Did you say low functioning or severe? shush be quiet! the man in this youtube video doesnt exist its just your imagination, he`s acting, he`s not officially been diagnosed with autism its a mistake!, he should have been offered a movie part of playing a maths genius that saves the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4PTf7LgsIE

I guess those with nonverbal severe autism who are intellectually disabled, who self-harm and are likely to die at 36, don’t fit the beautiful picture they and Steve Silbermann are trying to paint.

Some quotes by Ashley Wool:

"The trailer indicates that most of the time she just walks around in a dopey daze but her special interest and the most effective way to communicate with this girl other than through her AAC device is through…wait for it…music."

"The character of Music is “very low-functioning;” click here for an explanation of the problems with functioning labels and why the autistic community rejects them;"

"eductive, and infantilizing appropriation of our neurology
harmful stereotypes about autism"

https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/ ... music-mess



ASPartOfMe
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30 Nov 2020, 4:23 pm

carlos55 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
cyberdad wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
Here and online there has been plenty of criticism by Autistics of fictional autistic characters for being stereotyped as savants and glossing over the struggles they deal with as autistic people.


NTs like films which show growth/overcoming obstacles so the idea of the underdog with so many flaws/challenges overcoming their problems to become some type of hero is a common template for movies. So I doubt that's ever going to change.

I thought the issue with Sia's film was the casting rather than the story? the idea an NT could play a severely autistic person. This was something I found a little uncomfortable with the casting of Freddie Highmore (an NT actor) as the autistic doctor in the "Good doctor". That particular role should have been played by somebody with autism.


I was reacting to Carlos's claim that the negative reaction demonstrates the ND movement's ableism because of lack of outrage to NT actors playing high functioning autistics.

Some of the criticism has been that the film is inspiration porn
An autistic actress deconstructs Sia’s 'Music' mess
Quote:
my anger at Sia is not simply because she called Maddie Ziegler and not me. My anger stems from the fact that Sia knowingly and deliberately packaged an offensive, reductive, and infantilizing appropriation of our neurology as self-aggrandizing inspiration porn for consumption by non-autistics.


An actually autistic person responds to Sia’s controversial new film Music
Quote:
While more autism representation is needed to facilitate acceptance and understanding, inauthentic and inaccurate representation for the abled gaze is harmful. It perpetuates reductive, othering stereotypes, exploiting autistic people for feel-good “inspiration porn” or comedic value.


Sia’s Music angers Autistic campaigners over ‘insulting’ choice of non-disabled actor
Quote:
As disabled people, we are not here for you to take pity on or to make you feel better. We are not inspiration porn.


But you are right, while "inspiration porn" is a new term it has been a popular movie theme for a long time. The "Wizard of Oz" is a humongous popular early example.


The linked article you provided from Ashley Wool is littered with ableist comments that typifies how neurodiversity treats those with severe autism.

From the article it’s clear the author doesn’t want autism associated with low functioning severe autistics. “The Good Doctor” “The Accountant” good however movies portraying severely disabled bad.

If its not denied the condition exists despite official diagnosis, they want them hidden away, airbrushed out of the picture just like how some advertisements change the skin colour of those featured in pictures from black to white to satisfy a target audience.

Maybe the author really thinks intelligent women of child bearing age have never heard of children being born severely mentally disabled? Quick cover it up nothing to see here!

No wonder she and others like her don`t like functioning labels LOL. :D Did you say low functioning or severe? shush be quiet! the man in this youtube video doesnt exist its just your imagination, he`s acting, he`s not officially been diagnosed with autism its a mistake!, he should have been offered a movie part of playing a maths genius that saves the world.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j4PTf7LgsIE

I guess those with nonverbal severe autism who are intellectually disabled, who self-harm and are likely to die at 36, don’t fit the beautiful picture they and Steve Silbermann are trying to paint.

Some quotes by Ashley Wool:

"The trailer indicates that most of the time she just walks around in a dopey daze but her special interest and the most effective way to communicate with this girl other than through her AAC device is through…wait for it…music."

"The character of Music is “very low-functioning;” click here for an explanation of the problems with functioning labels and why the autistic community rejects them;"

"eductive, and infantilizing appropriation of our neurology
harmful stereotypes about autism"

https://www.onstageblog.com/editorials/ ... music-mess


Ashley claims Sia casted Maddie back in 2015 which would mean her claim that she tried a "low functioning" autistic actress who melted down might be a lie. Ashley used a pop suger article as proof. The video does not work for me so I can not verify Ashley's claim. I was able to verify that Sia said Maddie cried out of fear of making fun of people.

The youtube video you linked and the trailer shows two different things. In the trailer, the Music character is happy, the autistic meltdown video probably is not.
Off Topic
As I said earlier in this thread I find the practice of autistic parents filming their kids having meltdowns both exploitive and an invasion of privacy. In the WrongPlanet.net discussion section I asked should reposting these be allowed on wrong planet


As far as "low functioning" I find the description problematic for the reasons oft-discussed here. I find "severe" less problematic. Truth is there are no good descriptions for the wide variations in autistic presentation. I am not into language policing and are not going to hijack threads because a poster uses functioning labels.

There are still too many unresolved questions here make any final judgments.
1. First and foremost the full movie has not been released.
2. What exactly was Autism Speaks post-production role?
3. When exactly was the Autistic actress Sia claimed she tried out for them and could not hack it cast?
4. Sia claimed she had all this autistic input. We only have her word for it, no Autistics have been produced or come forward to verify Sia's claim. If there was Autistic input how do they feel about the final product?


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


Last edited by ASPartOfMe on 30 Nov 2020, 7:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Dvdz
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30 Nov 2020, 4:44 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
There are still too many unresolved questions here make any final judgments.
1. First and foremost the full movie has not been released.
2. What exactly was Autism Speaks post-production role?
3. When exactly was the Autistic actress Sia claimed she tried out for them and could not hack it cast?
4. Sia claimed she had all this autistic input. We only have her word for it, no Autistics have been produced or come forward to verify Sia's claim. If there was Autistic input how do they feel about the final product.


For 3, Sia has since stated that: "I tried rehearsing with a girl at her level of functioning. Like I said it was harmful not productive. So I chose to write it for Maddie." (https://twitter.com/Sia/status/1332297136680013826)

So I guess it means that it was during rehearsals before the actual production and before Maddie was brought on to rehearse.

As for 4, they probably shouldn't come out to defend Sia right now and be subject to the whims of the Twitter mob. Twitter is not a sane place.



ASPartOfMe
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30 Nov 2020, 7:20 pm

Dvdz wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
There are still too many unresolved questions here make any final judgments.
1. First and foremost the full movie has not been released.
2. What exactly was Autism Speaks post-production role?
3. When exactly was the Autistic actress Sia claimed she tried out for them and could not hack it cast?
4. Sia claimed she had all this autistic input. We only have her word for it, no Autistics have been produced or come forward to verify Sia's claim. If there was Autistic input how do they feel about the final product.


For 3, Sia has since stated that: "I tried rehearsing with a girl at her level of functioning. Like I said it was harmful not productive. So I chose to write it for Maddie." (https://twitter.com/Sia/status/1332297136680013826)

So I guess it means that it was during rehearsals before the actual production and before Maddie was brought on to rehearse.

As for 4, they probably shouldn't come out to defend Sia right now and be subject to the whims of the Twitter mob. Twitter is not a sane place.


As for 3, you guess, I guess that is a problem. If the claim is casting attempt occurred after Maddie was cast there is a problem.

As for 4 now is exactly the time because this is way beyond a twitterstorm, a lot of mainstream media has been covering it. Why let Sia be slandered by accusations of ableism and the film branded as ableist if this is not the case? Silence is only going to deepen suspicions.


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


Dvdz
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01 Dec 2020, 12:34 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
As for 4 now is exactly the time because this is way beyond a twitterstorm, a lot of mainstream media has been covering it. Why let Sia be slandered by accusations of ableism and the film branded as ableist if this is not the case? Silence is only going to deepen suspicions.


Unfortunately, this is not the way Twitter and the human brain works. When confronted with conflicting evidence, people tend to hold on more tightly to their false beliefs. This study details the failure of three different strategies used to combat anti-vaccination myths (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... cle_inline).

In one of the experimental conditions, only 2 out of 30 people reduced their belief that vaccines cause autism after presented with facts in a myth vs fact format, compared to 25 out of 30 who increased their belief.

If Sia is not ableist, the best thing for her to do right now is to be silent, not spread the myth of her ableism around.



carlos55
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01 Dec 2020, 4:22 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
he youtube video you linked and the trailer shows two different things. In the trailer, the Music character is happy, the autistic meltdown video probably is not.
Off Topic
As I said earlier in this thread I find the practice of autistic parents filming their kids having meltdowns both exploitive and an invasion of privacy. In the WrongPlanet.net discussion section I asked should reposting these be allowed on wrong planet


The video is not of a kid but a 28-year-old severely autistic man.

He`s not having a meltdown either, that’s his normal self, every min or so every day.

On real bad meltdown days, he rampages through his mother’s house as mentioned in 0.38.

Of course, many ND advocates would like to edit most bits so you wouldn’t see his true self or condition just a sanitised version to deceive the audience, silencing his suffering because many find it too ugly to contemplate or it breaks their carefully constructed false reality.

Just like the old days when such people were taken away at birth to institutions to die and never seen or spoken about again.



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01 Dec 2020, 6:12 am

carlos55 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
he youtube video you linked and the trailer shows two different things. In the trailer, the Music character is happy, the autistic meltdown video probably is not.
Off Topic
As I said earlier in this thread I find the practice of autistic parents filming their kids having meltdowns both exploitive and an invasion of privacy. In the WrongPlanet.net discussion section I asked should reposting these be allowed on wrong planet


The video is not of a kid but a 28-year-old severely autistic man.

He`s not having a meltdown either, that’s his normal self, every min or so every day.

On real bad meltdown days, he rampages through his mother’s house as mentioned in 0.38.

Of course, many ND advocates would like to edit most bits so you wouldn’t see his true self or condition just a sanitised version to deceive the audience, silencing his suffering because many find it too ugly to contemplate or it breaks their carefully constructed false reality.

Just like the old days when such people were taken away at birth to institutions to die and never seen or spoken about again.

In America "kid" refers to offspring of any age. If the autistic in the video is severely intellectually disabled he is a child in a 20 year olds body. The parent's youtube account lists her name. If the parent went under a Pseudonym and wrote about daily life with an adult severely autistic child it would not violate the autistic's privacy.



Dvdz wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
As for 4 now is exactly the time because this is way beyond a twitterstorm, a lot of mainstream media has been covering it. Why let Sia be slandered by accusations of ableism and the film branded as ableist if this is not the case? Silence is only going to deepen suspicions.


Unfortunately, this is not the way Twitter and the human brain works. When confronted with conflicting evidence, people tend to hold on more tightly to their false beliefs. This study details the failure of three different strategies used to combat anti-vaccination myths (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... cle_inline).

In one of the experimental conditions, only 2 out of 30 people reduced their belief that vaccines cause autism after presented with facts in a myth vs fact format, compared to 25 out of 30 who increased their belief.

If Sia is not ableist, the best thing for her to do right now is to be silent, not spread the myth of her ableism around.

You are assuming the autistics need to get in the Twitter trenches to defend Sia. While the mainstream media role has been heavily diminished by social media Good Morning America or the BBC still has a lot more people consuming their content. Even on smartphones, the news that is pushed is usually not Twitter.


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carlos55
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01 Dec 2020, 7:24 am

ASPartOfMe wrote:
carlos55 wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
he youtube video you linked and the trailer shows two different things. In the trailer, the Music character is happy, the autistic meltdown video probably is not.
Off Topic
As I said earlier in this thread I find the practice of autistic parents filming their kids having meltdowns both exploitive and an invasion of privacy. In the WrongPlanet.net discussion section I asked should reposting these be allowed on wrong planet


The video is not of a kid but a 28-year-old severely autistic man.

He`s not having a meltdown either, that’s his normal self, every min or so every day.

On real bad meltdown days, he rampages through his mother’s house as mentioned in 0.38.

Of course, many ND advocates would like to edit most bits so you wouldn’t see his true self or condition just a sanitised version to deceive the audience, silencing his suffering because many find it too ugly to contemplate or it breaks their carefully constructed false reality.

Just like the old days when such people were taken away at birth to institutions to die and never seen or spoken about again.

In America "kid" refers to offspring of any age. If the autistic in the video is severely intellectually disabled he is a child in a 20 year olds body. The parent's youtube account lists her name. If the parent went under a Pseudonym and wrote about daily life with an adult severely autistic child it would not violate the autistic's privacy.



Dvdz wrote:
ASPartOfMe wrote:
As for 4 now is exactly the time because this is way beyond a twitterstorm, a lot of mainstream media has been covering it. Why let Sia be slandered by accusations of ableism and the film branded as ableist if this is not the case? Silence is only going to deepen suspicions.


Unfortunately, this is not the way Twitter and the human brain works. When confronted with conflicting evidence, people tend to hold on more tightly to their false beliefs. This study details the failure of three different strategies used to combat anti-vaccination myths (https://journals.plos.org/plosone/artic ... cle_inline).

In one of the experimental conditions, only 2 out of 30 people reduced their belief that vaccines cause autism after presented with facts in a myth vs fact format, compared to 25 out of 30 who increased their belief.

If Sia is not ableist, the best thing for her to do right now is to be silent, not spread the myth of her ableism around.

You are assuming the autistics need to get in the Twitter trenches to defend Sia. While the mainstream media role has been heavily diminished by social media Good Morning America or the BBC still has a lot more people consuming their content. Even on smartphones, the news that is pushed is usually not Twitter.


That’s the decision of the mother.

She is the only person who can speak and make decisions about her son and unlike a normal child he will never grow up to be impacted by privacy concerns made by her.

From your privacy argument all severely autistic people are hidden away from public view so nobody sees the condition. Just how many advocates would like to create a false image of autism.

The actor role argument is just bitter fanatical people talking nonsense about autistic actors.

Why would anyone trust anything a bunch of delusional fanatics with a chip on their shoulder say on their home computer.



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01 Dec 2020, 9:38 am

carlos55 wrote:
That’s the decision of the mother.

She is the only person who can speak and make decisions about her son and unlike a normal child he will never grow up to be impacted by privacy concerns made by her.

From your privacy argument all severely autistic people are hidden away from public view so nobody sees the condition. Just how many advocates would like to create a false image of autism.

The actor role argument is just bitter fanatical people talking nonsense about autistic actors.

Why would anyone trust anything a bunch of delusional fanatics with a chip on their shoulder say on their home computer.

That is her right to make that decision. That does not mean it was a good one. WE are ASSUMING based on the video that the young man is intellectually disabled and can not come close to understanding when his privacy is being violated. At times he seems to understand what his mom is saying. Carly Fleishmann did not communicate in any way until age 12, even people like John Elder Robinson up until age 4 presented as severe. There are people like the late ND advocate Amanda Baggs who are not anything like aspies. The fact that he is like that at age 20 argues against that he will ever be functional in any. way. It does not guarantee it. That is why while severity and functionality often overlap they are not the same and that is a flaw with functioning labels.

I am virulently against parents violating offsprings privacy without their consent. I defended Melania Trump when she
threatened people who speculated about Barron’s neurology when he was 10.

It is not an either or situation. One can present an unsanitized picture of parenting a severely autistic person without violating privacy.


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03 Dec 2020, 5:52 am

The Trailer for Sia's "Music" Hurts Autistic Girls Like Me by Charlotte Gush for Teen Vogue

Quote:
This week, I tried to find representations of autistic women in film. They are few and far between, but some do exist. When Alan Rickman chastises Sigourney Weaver’s idiosyncratic autistic character in Snow Cake, the woman they are talking to smiles quickly and says, “It’s perfectly all right, I know all about autism, I’ve seen that film.” Ah, that film. Autistic people like me know exactly what she means: Rain Man has monopolized the public conception of autism since it was released in 1988, when I was one year old.

I hate to disappoint you, but I’m no math whiz, and I can’t draw an entire cityscape after just a momentary gaze. It was with consternation that the community received news of Australian singer and first time director Sia’s new project, Music, which she described to Variety as “Rain Man the musical, but with girls.” Described by Sia as a “love letter to caregivers and to the autism community” (that ordering is instructive).

To be clear: if Music is autistic then she is classified as having a disability. ‘Disabled’ is not a slur, but ‘special abilities’ can certainly be interpreted that way. (As one commenter put it, “'Special abilities' is downright patronizing. We're not children or Xmen.”)

Sia might also have attempted to figure out why her set was so inaccessible for the girl she ‘tried’ to work with, and made adjustments to make it more autism-friendly, something she hasn’t mentioned considering.

Autistic women and girls are so absent from mainstream culture that ableist and infantilizing representations are often made and rarely challenged. While we celebrate Greta Thunberg for her eloquent environmentalism and hugely successful movement building, we also watch as people demean her achievements, suggesting she couldn’t possibly have her own opinions and must therefore be a puppet for malevolent influences. It is in this context that we must consider the deeply troubling ableist language Sia has used, and her depiction of what amounts to an exoticizing penchant for disabled people. “I’ve always had a thing for… people with special abilities,” Sia admits in the deeply unedifying Variety interview, noting that what she’s “always found with the special abilities people that I’ve fallen in love with is this purity.”

Sia’s apparent beliefs about the supposed purity and magical qualities of disabled people may sound celebratory, but actually add up to a denial of our basic humanity.

Promotion for her film implies that Music delivers a kind of transformational experience for her troubled sister, a common but harmful stereotype that sees marginalized characters used as flat surfaces to reflect the humanitarian impulses of privileged ones, pushing the narrative along without being developed fully themselves. Reflected through what Sia describes as her “awesome" intentions is the unmistakable sound of her own voice. That she chose to ventriloquize a nonverbal autistic girl, one of the more marginalized and misunderstood identities even within disability discourse, is misguided to the point of misanthropy.

Sia claims she had “two people on the spectrum advising me at all times” and “cast 13 neuroatypical people [sic].” These autistic or neurodiverse advisors don’t appear to have shared their view of the film publicly.

Sia has explained that the presentation of Music’s autism is based on her experience of a nonverbal autistic guy, making it, by definition, an inaccurate portrayal of an autistic girl. Misrepresentations like this might reinforce dangerous stereotypes that there's only one way autism looks, which contributes to the chronic underdiagnosis of women and girls, precluding us from an understanding of our neurodiversity and therefore from accessing the support we may need.

A troubling anecdote from Sia’s Variety interview reveals that Maddie Ziegler had approached her in rehearsals with concerns about her portrayal of Music’s autistic presentation. Though Sia reassured her that she wouldn’t “let that happen,” it has. “I remember being at school and other kids copying me to take the mick out of me. That was the exact feeling I had watching this trailer,” tweeted @Autisticgamer. “Here we have the neurotypicals wanting to be ’saviours’ for the autistics, but alas they Infantilised and poorly mimicked the autistics instead,” wrote @Saraheboon.

Bolding=mine


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


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03 Dec 2020, 3:53 pm

ASPartOfMe wrote:
The Trailer for Sia's "Music" Hurts Autistic Girls Like Me by Charlotte Gush for Teen Vogue
Quote:
This week, I tried to find representations of autistic women in film. They are few and far between, but some do exist. When Alan Rickman chastises Sigourney Weaver’s idiosyncratic autistic character in Snow Cake, the woman they are talking to smiles quickly and says, “It’s perfectly all right, I know all about autism, I’ve seen that film.” Ah, that film. Autistic people like me know exactly what she means: Rain Man has monopolized the public conception of autism since it was released in 1988, when I was one year old.

I hate to disappoint you, but I’m no math whiz, and I can’t draw an entire cityscape after just a momentary gaze. It was with consternation that the community received news of Australian singer and first time director Sia’s new project, Music, which she described to Variety as “Rain Man the musical, but with girls.” Described by Sia as a “love letter to caregivers and to the autism community” (that ordering is instructive).

To be clear: if Music is autistic then she is classified as having a disability. ‘Disabled’ is not a slur, but ‘special abilities’ can certainly be interpreted that way. (As one commenter put it, “'Special abilities' is downright patronizing. We're not children or Xmen.”)

Sia might also have attempted to figure out why her set was so inaccessible for the girl she ‘tried’ to work with, and made adjustments to make it more autism-friendly, something she hasn’t mentioned considering.

Autistic women and girls are so absent from mainstream culture that ableist and infantilizing representations are often made and rarely challenged. While we celebrate Greta Thunberg for her eloquent environmentalism and hugely successful movement building, we also watch as people demean her achievements, suggesting she couldn’t possibly have her own opinions and must therefore be a puppet for malevolent influences. It is in this context that we must consider the deeply troubling ableist language Sia has used, and her depiction of what amounts to an exoticizing penchant for disabled people. “I’ve always had a thing for… people with special abilities,” Sia admits in the deeply unedifying Variety interview, noting that what she’s “always found with the special abilities people that I’ve fallen in love with is this purity.”

Sia’s apparent beliefs about the supposed purity and magical qualities of disabled people may sound celebratory, but actually add up to a denial of our basic humanity.

Promotion for her film implies that Music delivers a kind of transformational experience for her troubled sister, a common but harmful stereotype that sees marginalized characters used as flat surfaces to reflect the humanitarian impulses of privileged ones, pushing the narrative along without being developed fully themselves. Reflected through what Sia describes as her “awesome" intentions is the unmistakable sound of her own voice. That she chose to ventriloquize a nonverbal autistic girl, one of the more marginalized and misunderstood identities even within disability discourse, is misguided to the point of misanthropy.

Sia claims she had “two people on the spectrum advising me at all times” and “cast 13 neuroatypical people [sic].” These autistic or neurodiverse advisors don’t appear to have shared their view of the film publicly.

Sia has explained that the presentation of Music’s autism is based on her experience of a nonverbal autistic guy, making it, by definition, an inaccurate portrayal of an autistic girl. Misrepresentations like this might reinforce dangerous stereotypes that there's only one way autism looks, which contributes to the chronic underdiagnosis of women and girls, precluding us from an understanding of our neurodiversity and therefore from accessing the support we may need.

A troubling anecdote from Sia’s Variety interview reveals that Maddie Ziegler had approached her in rehearsals with concerns about her portrayal of Music’s autistic presentation. Though Sia reassured her that she wouldn’t “let that happen,” it has. “I remember being at school and other kids copying me to take the mick out of me. That was the exact feeling I had watching this trailer,” tweeted @Autisticgamer. “Here we have the neurotypicals wanting to be ’saviours’ for the autistics, but alas they Infantilised and poorly mimicked the autistics instead,” wrote @Saraheboon.

Bolding=mine


Lots of empty Psychobabble she basically complains that its not a real portrayal of girls like her, like it’s all about her.

Me me me, the world owes it to me! The producer decided to make a movie about a girl with severe autism, because severe autism exists and it effects other girls.

If it was about hf verbal girls like her it would be a completely different story, (not about a girl communicating only through music)

Get it, movie idea, script writing, casting in that order, how dumb are some people LOL :D

Also why do some people think movies owe them something?

Staring in a movie isn’t like working in a factory. It’s the director’s movie, it’s their baby & he/ she hires as she sees fit.

There is an audition, the best person gets the part. I’m sure if an autistic person was the beter actress they would have been hired quite simply for the director`s selfish reasons because it would have made a beter movie.

There is a reason why the others weren’t hired, maybe there is truth to sia`s blunt reply "Maybe you're a bad actor"



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18 Dec 2020, 5:43 am

Sia dug herself deeper in the autistic casting controversy

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Sia dug herself deeper by making an...unusual comparison between Ziegler’s casting and that of co-stars Kate Hudson and Leslie Odom Jr. “It’s not a documentary. Kate isn’t a drug dealer and Leslie Odom Jr. [who plays Ebo] isn’t from Ghana,” she said of their roles.

Sia also claimed there was “no way” she could have cast an actor with the same "level of functioning" as the character in question. “The character is based completely on my neuroatypical friend," Sia told the Australian news outlet. "He found it too stressful being non verbal, and I made this movie with nothing but love for him and his mother."


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


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21 Dec 2020, 5:35 am

Sia regrets responding to criticism over casting of autistic character in her film: ‘I f***ed up this time’

Quote:
Sia says that she regrets responding to critics calling her out for casting Maddie Ziegler as an autistic character in her new film.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald, the “Titanium” musician said that in responding to her critics she had broken her usual rule of not doing “anything emotional past midnight”.

“Looking back, I should have just shut up; I know that now,” she said. “It was three in the morning, and even though I have a rule that I don’t do anything emotional past midnight, I f***ed up this time.”

“What I do know is that people functioning at Music’s level can’t get on Twitter and tell me I did a good job either,” she said.

There’s a saying in AA that you’re better to understand, than be understood. Sadly I forgot about that when I got on Twitter. I really just wanted to explain that I had tried all these different options and done my best.”

Bolding=mine
Since she created the charactor so if she says the fictional charactor is unable to go on twitter she is unable to go on twitter. That said the statement is inconsistant with what is said and shown in the trailor. The Leslie Odom charactor says "She can understand everything you are saying to her" and is shown using facilitated communication so in real life a person like her could very possibly approve or disapprove of the film.

In other words Sia should expand her advice and not say anything more and let people see the film if they so choose.


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My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman


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24 Dec 2020, 4:56 am

Sia’s Non-Apology After Lashing Out At Autistic Community Is ‘Insulting’: Advocates

Quote:
“I haven’t seen any apology from Sia though,” Zoe Gross, director of operations at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, told HuffPost via email. “Including in [the Herald’s] article.”

Gross also said that she finds Sia’s comment that “people functioning at Music’s level can’t get on Twitter and tell me I did a good job” is “particularly concerning.”

“First, because the idea of ‘functioning levels’ is an outdated, vague, and derogatory concept that harms people with developmental disabilities, regardless of our support needs,” Gross told HuffPost. “And second, because all kinds of autistic people use social media — nonspeaking autistic people, autistic people with intellectual disabilities, autistic people who can’t live independently and need support with daily tasks — and many of them did speak out about finding Sia’s film offensive and her comments about autistic people insulting.”

Disability advocates and autistic people also expressed annoyance over this particular comment as well.

Gross also noted that Communication First — a group run by and for nonspeaking people with disabilities who use alternative and augmentative communication just like Music does in the film — put out a statement about the movie.

The statement offers Sia a list of things that she could do to “flip the script” on the damage she has already done to the community. It advises the Grammy-nominated musician to first and foremost “acknowledge the harm and trauma this situation has brought to the disability community, and create a meaningful plan to make amends.”

The statement also calls for Sia to amplify autistic voices and commit to creating work environments that are inclusive and accessible to all.

“Work with actual augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) users to create an introductory short to the film to educate viewers on our broad, diverse humanity and the importance of inclusion and representation,” the statement also suggests.

Gross calls Sia’s decision to ignore the voices of nonspeaking autistic people “very strange.” “She first defended the film by saying that nonspeaking autistic people cannot work as performers,” Gross said. “And now she is defending it by saying that nonspeaking autistic people cannot use social media. Neither of these things are true, and both of them are very odd statements to make when discussing a project that she claims is meant to empower nonspeaking autistic people.”

Speaking of apologies I need to apologize for writing "facilitated communication" when the character uses augmented communication.


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DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity

My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person. - Sara Luterman