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Paige Layle, An Autistic TikToker, Weighed In On The Sia/Maddie Ziegler Movie Drama

"The number one thing we're saying is include us."

For those who may not scroll Twitter at all hours of the day like me, you might be wondering just what exactly Sia and Maddie Ziegler situation we're referencing. But fear not, we're here to break it all down for you.

Last week, Sia announced the release of her new film, Music, which she wrote and directed and that stars Kate Hudson and her mini-me Maddie Ziegler.

The news you've been waiting for! 🙌 Music, the movie written & directed by Sia + starring Kate Hudson, @leslieodomjr & @maddieziegler, will be arriving in early 2021! Watch a sneak peek of the movie right here.

@Sia / Via Twitter: @Sia

The catch is that Maddie Z, a neuro-typical teen, was cast as a non-verbal autistic teenager for the film, a fact that did not sit right with many both within and outside of the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) community.

@Sia @leslieodomjr @maddieziegler Hi Sia, can I ask why you didn't cast a disabled actor for this part? It's pretty offensive the way you've chosen to portray this character. People with disabilities are not broken and don't need fixing. Many of my friends have different disabilities and they are some of the ---

@bronaghwaugh / Via Twitter: @bronaghwaugh

In a matter of hours, social media was flooded with those expressing their anger and concern over Sia's casting of Maddie.

@Igcio4 @bronaghwaugh @Sia @leslieodomjr @maddieziegler I’m a neurodivergent actor and writer with an MFA from a prestigious program. I know myself and plenty of other autistic actors and writers (many of whom are in this thread) would kill for a lead role in a star studded film. Sia doesn’t get to decide what’s ‘too much stress’

@Estelle_Olivia / Via Twitter: @Estelle_Olivia

One of those people was Paige Layle, an autistic 20-year-old on TikTok, who uses her platform to frequently speak up about issues within the ASD community and to attempt to educate those outside of it.

Paige posted a video over the weekend addressing the entire controversy and she agrees Sia should have hired an autistic actor.

@paigelayle

no excuses. & my opinion is not up for discussion. #autism #nonuancenovember

♬ original sound - paigelayle

She also addressed Sia's argument that she initially did cast an autistic actor, but that the environment was "too stressful" by saying, "Sia you have millions of dollars. Change the environment!"

A screenshot of the Tik Toker Paige Layle's face
TikTok User: PaigeLayle / Via tiktok.com

Paige then later posted another video addressing the issue again after a commenter asked her if she would say the same thing about the famed movie What's Eating Gilbert Grape.

And obviously, yes. Yes, she would. Because the point still stands.

In summary, follow Paige on TikTok so you can stay educated on ASD.

Note: This post has been updated with language around autism to reflect both Paige Layle's preference and BuzzFeed's Style Guide.

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