Commentary: Sia fans should say see ya later after ‘Music’

New movie ‘Music’ blasted as ableist and inaccurately portraying the Autism community


Vertical Entertainment

“Music” faced swift backlash for its inaccurate portrayal of Autism and use of blackface.


If I were to put ‘Music’, a film directed and co-written by recording artist Sia, into one word, it would be terrible.

As my sister has Down syndrome, I believe strongly that the special needs community needs more attention. 

But not like this.  

The project included neurotypical actor Maddie Ziegler playing the autistic main character, Music, as well as techniques that are a danger to those with special needs, resulting in an uproar of anger with the Autism community for representing them in a disgusting way. 

The opening scene acts as the first taste of insensitivity.  

Music is shown wearing black face and terribly imitating stimming, behavior marked by repetitive physical actions or movements. These behaviors are found mostly in civilians on the Autism spectrum, and the scene infuriated people of color as well as the poorly described Autism community.

Music is never shown speaking outside of a few words and sentences, with her wide, grinning mouth and completely exaggerated facial expressions.  The blatant mockery and imitation of Autism disgusted me to no end.

To add wood to the fire, the strobe lights and colors displayed throughout the dancing scenes has overstimulated many in the special needs community. Without any warning regarding the flashes, or removing of the flashes entirely, it has been incredibly dangerous for the community the movie was made for.

Moving onto another portion of the movie, Music is shown having a meltdown, continuously hitting her head and destroying anything in her path.  

Seconds later the main characters, Zu and Ebo, jump into action.  Music is seen held in a prone restraint.

Prone restraint, or restraining by applying physical pressure to a face-down person, is incredibly dangerous and has killed thousands of people with special needs at the hands of uneducated civilians.

A little over three years ago in El Dorado, California, a 13 year-old boy lost his life in a now-closed school after being held in a prone restraint.

Another instance of the deadly grip is the infamous death of George Floyd, who was held in the same restraint for around nine minutes.

After viewing the threat of both the prone restraint shown in the movie and the sensory issues, I believe this movie is putting its audience in major harm and offending the special needs community in the process.

Although her intentions were pure, Sia has butchered this movie.  And with a 10 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, I am not the only one feeling this way.

For not only me, “Music” has been a terrible way of representing Autism.  Consisting of mockery, blackface, prone restraint and dangerous flashes, the movie has disgusted me.