“Music,” co-written by musician Sia, sees Hudson play a recently sober drug dealer who finds herself charged with taking care of her younger sister, a special-needs teen named Music played by Maddie Ziegler.
The movie, which earned two Golden Globe nominations, was criticized by many for its portrayal of autistic people as well as the decision to cast neurotypical Ziegler as someone on the autism spectrum.
Hudson was asked about the controversy during a recent appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” where she defended the movie.
“I think when people see the film, that they will see the amount of love and sensitivity that was put into it,” Hudson told host Jimmy Kimmel when asked about the backlash surrounding “Music.” “But it is an important conversation to have, not just about this movie, but as a whole — about representation.”
She continued: “For me, when I hear that there’s anybody that feels left out I feel terrible. It’s an ongoing and important dialogue to be had, about neurotypical actors portraying neurodivergent characters. It is an important one to have with people with experts and who know how to engage in the conversation. I encourage it, truly. I think that it’s important to say that we are listening.”
In addition to Hudson, Sia previously defended her movie from critics who were upset when she released the trailer for the film on Twitter that she was not doing justice to the autistic community.
“I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f–king prostitutes or drug addicts but s [sic] as doctors, nurses and singers,” Sia said in response to one critic’s tweet.
Sia continued to respond to a number of people including one individual who wrote, “Several autistic actors, myself included, responded to these tweets. 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. #NothingAboutUsWithoutUs.”
“Maybe you’re just a bad actor,” replied the star.
Shortly after the Golden Globe nominations were announced, Sia reportedly apologized for a scene in the movie in which Ziegler’s character is restrained in a way that could be dangerous for people with autism, according to The Daily Mail.