Sia has opened up regarding the backlash she received for her debut film Music.
The Chandelier and Cheap Thrills singer, 46, revealed to The New York Times as part of a feature on Kathy Griffin that she “was suicidal and relapsed and went to rehab” after the media ripped her apart for her movie which centered around an autistic teenager.
Sia then credited Kathy Griffin for helping her through the depression that followed the film’s release, saying that the controversial comedian “saved my life.”
Sia said film Music was not intended to portray autistic youth in a negative light
As reported by Variety magazine, Sia addressed the controversy surrounding the film after the feature garnered two Golden Globe nominations last year.
The singer claimed that she had been listening to and reading the critiques of her film, which sees neurotypical actress Maddie Ziegler portraying the autistic teen in the title role.
The film was spurned by many for Sia’s failure to hire a neuroatypical actor in place of Maddie, along with garnering massive outrage for showing a scene in which the autistic character is physically restrained.
“MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people,” Sia reportedly wrote on a social media post at the time. “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.”
Despite her attempts at correcting what many viewed as an insensitive portrayal of an autistic person, Sia remained under heat for the film and found herself falling into a depression shortly after.
Kathy Griffin helped Sia out of suicidal thoughts by taking singer under her wing
As Sia grappled with the media firestorm surrounding her film, Kathy Griffin, who has had her fair share of media backlash as well, suggested to the typically-reclusive singer that the two appear together for an outing.
Sia said the comedian convinced her to go to a known paprazzi hot-spot restaurant without her usual costumes and makeup to hide her face with the idea that snaps of the two together might help create a different story for both parties.
The well-timed stunt seemed to work, with headlines coming out shortly after the two were snapped together reading “Sia shares a warm hug with Kathy Griffin at dinner… after singer helped the comedian restore her voice following lung cancer surgery.”
With her rough patch at least mostly behind her, Sia is currently setting her sights on taking to the stage and will be releasing her tenth studio album sometime this year.