Music, which arrived in Australian theatres last month, drew significant criticism when it was announced that Maddie Ziegler, who is neurotypical, had been cast as the the film’s autistic titular character.
Following its release, many in the autism community criticised Music‘s representation of autistic people onscreen, pointing to its use of ableist stereotypes. A scene in which Ziegler’s character is subjected to a prone restraint, a commonly opposed practice that can be lethal, was criticised in particular.
In a new interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Hudson opened up about the reaction to the film.
“I think when people see the film, they will see the amount of love and sensitivity that was put into it. But it is an important conversation to have, not just about this movie, but as a whole, about representation. For me, when I hear that there’s anybody that feels left out, I feel terrible,” Hudson said when asked by Kimmel about the criticism the film has received.
“It’s an ongoing, important dialogue to be had, about neurotypical actors portraying neurodivergent characters. It is an important one to have with people who are experts, who really know how to engage in the conversation. And so, I encourage it, really, truly. Just to say, that we are listening, and it’s an important dialogue to have.”
Earlier this month, Sia herself responded to the backlash. In a series of tweets from her now-deleted Twitter account, the musician wrote “I’m sorry… I plan to remove the restraint scenes from all future printings. I listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough.”
A petition launched earlier this month to have the film’s two Golden Globe nominations rescinded has, at time of writing, received over 100,000 signatures.
Watch Hudson’s interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live! below.