Two years after her film Music courted controversy for misrepresenting people with autism, singer-songwriter Sia has revealed that she is on the spectrum and in recovery mode. The Australian musician was called out for casting a neurotypical actor, her frequent collaborator Maddie Ziegler as a nonverbal autistic teenage girl in her feature directorial debut in 2021.

During a recent episode of Rob Has a podcast, Sia said she has been able to become herself only in the last two years. “I’m on the spectrum and I’m in recovery and whatever…For 45 years, I was like, I’ve got to go put my human suit on”. And only in the last two years have I become fully, fully myself”.

She also said “No one can love you when you’re filled with secrets and living in shame…. And then we finally sit in a room full of strangers and tell them our deepest, darkest, most

shameful secrets and everybody laughs along with us and we don’t feel like pieces of trash for the first time in our lives and we feel seen for the first time in our lives for who we actually are, and then we can start going out into the world and just operating as humans and human beings with hearts and not pretending to be anything,” she added.

Music followed a newly sober woman named Zu, played by Kate Hudson, who becomes the guardian of her half-sister Music (Ziegler), a teenage girl on the autism spectrum.

At the time of the controversy, Sia had hit back at critics, saying the story was inspired by her “neuro-atypical friend” who “found it too stressful being non-verbal, and I made this movie with nothing but love for him and his mother”. She later offered an apology, adding the scenes in question in Music would be removed from future screenings.
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