This year's Golden Globes nominations have raised a lot of discussions, especially regarding the nomination of singer Sia's controversial film Music earning nods for Best Picture, Comedy or Musical and Best Actress for Kate Hudson. The film, which features Sia's muse Maddie Ziegler as an autistic girl, has drawn criticism for its portrayal of neurodivergent people, likening her performance to mimicry and even "ableist minstrelsy." The film currently has a shockingly low score of 10% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Hudson virtually stopped by Jimmy Kimmel Live! to discuss this film and her nomination, and she took time to address the backlash. "I think when people see the film, you know that they will see the amount of love and sensitivity that was put into it," Hudson told Kimmel. "But it is an important conversation to have… When I hear that anybody feels left out, I feel terrible."
Hudson states that the cast and crew made the film with the best of intentions and echoed Sia's previous claims that an autistic actress was initially cast in Ziegler's role but dropped out, citing too much stress. "It’s not a sound bite conversation," said Hudson. "It’s an ongoing important dialogue to be had about neurotypical actors portraying neurodivergent characters… It should be a continuous conversation."
"For those of us who have autism in our families, everyone has a different experience with it," agreed Kimmel. "We want to tell the best stories we can," replied Hudson. "There’s no part of anybody wants to upset anybody. We just really want to tell the best stories and when there are people who feel upset about anything, it’s our job to, I think, listen, and encourage more conversation with other people who want to tell these stories because they’re important stories to be told. And we don’t want to stop telling them."
Sia faced a considerable amount of pushback for the exaggerated portrayal of autism, traumatic imagery in the film surrounding the treatment of autistic people, and even accused Ziegler of donning blackface in the film. Sia posted an apology on Twitter before deleting her account. "I promise, have been listening," she wrote. "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. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help w meltdown safety."