Kate Hudson Feels "Terrible" Over Music Autism Representation Backlash

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Kaitlin Reilly
·2 min read
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Kate Hudson addressed the backlash from the autism community over her new movie Music.

In the new film, which was written and directed by music superstar Sia, Dance Moms alum Maddie Ziegler portrays the titular character. Music is autistic and non-verbal, and many people were upset that Sia cast a neurotypical actress to play such a role. In November, the "Chandelier" singer claimed that she attempted to hire a person with autism for the part, but that the actress found the role "unpleasant" and "stressful." However, autistic actors on Twitter accused her of not looking hard enough before casting Maddie, who Sia has worked with in several of her music videos.

Speaking to the host on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Hudson—who portrays the character Zu, Music's older sister and guardian in the musical drama—shared that she believes there is value in having a dialogue around representation in media.

The Almost Famous actress explained, "I think when people see the film, that 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."

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She added, "For me, when I hear that there's anybody that feels left out I feel terrible."

Kate Hudson, Music
Kate Hudson, Music

The Fabletics founder, who will next appear in the Apple TV+ series Truth Be Told, continued, "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 [those] 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 the casting backlash, Sia has come under fire for featuring a scene in the film in which Music is physically restrained. Many in the autism community have spoken out about this being a dangerous practice. Earlier this month, Sia responded to the controversy on Twitter, saying she has been "listening" and decided to make a change to the movie.

"The motion picture MUSIC will, moving forward, have this warning at the head of the movie: MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people," she wrote over two tweets. "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."

Music is in theaters and on demand now. Watch Hudson's interview above.