Just hours after revealing the new music video for her latest single Elastic Heart, Sia has been forced to apologise to those “triggered” by its content. The clip features actor Shia LaBeouf trapped in a cage and dancing alongside tween dancer Maddie Ziegler in underwear.
While many have praised the artistic direction of the video which stars the same dancer from Sia’s award winning Chandelier clip, some have taken to social media to criticise the clip with accusations that it has “pedophilia” connotations.
“The new Sia video made me so uncomfortable like I was bracing for partially expected pedophelia at any moment,” wrote one viewer on Twitter. “A 12 yr old locked in a cage with a man in his 30’s while wearing skin suits and running up on each other. You can’t tell me that’s not innapropriate,” wrote another viewer on YouTube.
“I anticipated some ‘pedophelia!!!’ Cries for this video,” Sia wrote on Twitter in response to the criticism. “All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘sia’ self states.”
“I apologize to those who feel triggered by #ElasticHeart” she added. “My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody.”
Like Chandelier, the video was directed by Sia and Daniel Askill. Sia also clarified that the two actors are supposed to represent fighting versions of herself and has nothing to do with her fractured relationship with her father.
Many other fans have jumped to Sia’s defence. “ART is meant to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. Loved the music video!,” wrote one fan in response to Sia’s apology.
Sia’s now Grammy-nominated video for Chandelier which starred the then 11-year-old Maddie Ziegler in a flesh tone leotard and trademark blonde Sia wig, garnered similar controversy due to the dancer’s young age.
Watch: Sia – Elastic Heart ft. Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler
The new Sia video made me so uncomfortable like I was bracing for partially expected pedophelia at any moment
— poltergeist: christmas edition (@kyleelectrv) January 7, 2015
The new sia video is disgusting ! Like the song made a bit of sense then the video was like abacajavalaoavwpabsh @maddieziegler that's not u
— Suza aka suz (@suza_aka) January 7, 2015
Wow the new Sia video really brings the pedophilia this time.
— Mark Maira (@MarkMaira) January 7, 2015
— Belle ☀️ (@Belle_Davison) January 8, 2015
@Sia Don't feel bad about your art, the video was so beautiful
— anthöny (@aurakesha) January 8, 2015
@Sia ART is meant to disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. Loved the music video!
— Corlene Beukes (@cor13ne) January 8, 2015