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Sia's Movie, "Music" and How Mainstream Media Portrays Autism

Still from the movie "Music" of actress Maddie Ziegler
HanWay Films
Still from the movie "Music"

When the preview for musical artist Sia’s debut film Music was released---- it received backlash from individuals on the autism spectrum. But it also sparked a conversation about neurodiversity.

This hour, we talk about how the mainstream portrays autism. In the film Music, the central character “Music” is played by Maddie Ziegler, a neurotypical actress leading many to ask, why couldn’t someone on the autism spectrum be cast to play this role.

How should we approach portraying autism and other disabilities in film and television? We want to hear from you.

We also hear from Connecticut’s Child Advocate, Sarah Eagan on how schools are addressing educational needs of student with disabilities during this pandemic.


  • Sarah Eagan - Child Advocate for the State of Connecticut
  • Charlie Hancock - Student at Oxford studying human sciences and news editor at Cherwell, Oxford's independent student newspaper
  • Sara Luterman -  freelance journalist covering disability policy, politics, and culture

Cat Pastor contributed to this show which originally aired March 23, 2021.

Lucy leads Connecticut Public's strategies to deeply connect and build collaborations with community-focused organizations across the state.
Tess is a senior producer for Connecticut Public news-talk show Where We Live. She enjoys hiking Connecticut's many trails and little peaks, gardening and writing in her seven journals.

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