Sia Admits That Casting Maddie Ziegler as an Autistic Character 'Is Ableist' | 22 Words

Sia has finally spoken out about the controversial casting choice of Maddie Ziegler as an autistic character and she's admitted that it was "ableist" of her to do so.

Read on to see exactly what she had to say...

Out of all the celebrities out there, Sia is by far one of the nicest. Or is she?

via: Getty

The Australian-born singer is constantly in and out of the headlines with heartwarming stories of her generosity, but her latest move regarding her new movie may have landed her in some hot water.

Her casting of Maddie Ziegler as an autistic character has faced a lot of criticism...

So much so, that the singer has now been forced to finally admit her mistake with her casting choice.

Now, Sia is first and foremost known for her singing abilities.

The singer-songwriter has made waves on the music scene with her soulful and meaningful music and song lyrics and has become popular for her somewhat eccentric style.

She's achieved incredible success in recent years.

“Chandelier", “Elastic Heart", “Cheap Thrills"… Just to name a few.

And, putting her musical talent to one side, Sia is known for standing out from the crowd.

The singer isn’t your typical musician - she very rarely shows her face and always covers herself up in an attempt to shy away from the typical celebrity lifestyle.

Often, her audience can't even see her.

For the last few years, the musician has used stage performers and dancers, such as Maddie Ziegler, to represent her and take most of the spotlight.

But Sia has been open about these fame anxieties...

And she has been praised for allowing the world to see her true self.

Famously, the singer has endured a long battle with alcohol and drug abuse.

The Australian native has, with very little filter, discussed her struggles and anxieties when it comes to dealing with fame, and how she depended on substance abuse to cope for many years.

She even credits her alcoholism for her trademark face-blocking wig.

“I was an alcoholic and a drug addict, and I sobered up and decided I didn’t want to be an artist anymore because I was starting to get a little bit famous, and it was destabilizing in some way," she told James Corden in 2016, when discussing her wigs.

Her fans love her for her honesty...

And Sia hasn’t been afraid of opening up about her feelings towards fame and attention from fans. “If anyone besides famous people knew what it was like to be a famous person, they would never want to be famous," she once wrote in Billboard in 2013.

She is just so relatable.

Unlike many celebrities these days, Sia is refreshingly normal, which is one of the many reasons people love her so much. But her latest move has got her into a spot of bother with more than just her own fans.

Sia revealed last year that she's making a movie about a young girl with autism...

via: Getty

But her casting choice of Maddy Ziegler, an actress and dancer without autism who has worked closely with Sia for many years, hasn't sat right with some.

Sia then responded...

When the backlash first kicked off, Sia tried to defend herself by saying: "I tried working with a beautiful young girl nonverbal on the spectrum."

And after she explained the young girl found the experience "unpleasant" which lead to Maddie being cast, she assured fans that her heart "has always been in the right place."

However, she was once again met with criticism...

Over her sour comment toward sex workers and drug addicts.

But then, the singer was also criticized over how she responded to autistic people who were expressing their concerns.

via: Getty

One Twitter user wrote: "We all said we could have acted in it on short notice. These excuses are just that — excuses. The fact of the matter is zero effort was made to include anyone who is actually autistic." To which Sia responded: "Maybe you're just a bad actor." Yikes.

And now, Sia has spoken further about the backlash...

With her finally admitting that her decision to cast Ziegler was "ableism." Ableism is discrimination in favor of able-bodied people.

"I realized it wasn't ableism — I mean, it is ableism, I guess, as well — but it's actually nepotism because I can't do a project without her [Maddie]."

"I don't want to," she said during an interview on the Australian talk show The Project.

She went on to reveal Maddie had also expressed concerns over her role...

Saying she was "really scared" and "cried on the first day of rehearsals."

"She just said, 'I don't want anyone to think I'm making fun of them,'" Sia explained.

via: Youtube

"And I bald-facedly said, 'I won't let that happen.' I realized I couldn't really protect her from that, which I thought I could," Sia said. "We sent it off to the Child Mind Institute, and she received a 100 percent as performance accuracy."

You can watch Sia's full interview here...

What do you make of the controversy? For more, read on to see what The Pope had to say about children with autism...