Sia shares autism diagnosis after musical movie controversy

Sia's controversial film "Music" may have been inspired by her own real-life experiences - even if it was subconsciously. During the May 25 episode of Rob Has a Podcast , the 47-year-old singer-songwriter revealed that she has been diagnosed with autism. "I'm on the autism spectrum and I'm in recovery and a lot of things," she said, adding that she's also now sober after a recent relapse.

Sia didn't say when she was diagnosed with the disease, but she went on to describe feeling like she had to portray herself as a person instead of being real for most of her life live, suggesting that this is a recent event. "For 45 years, I kept thinking, 'I have to put on my human suit,'" she recalled. "It's only been the last two years that I've been fully myself." The Grammy nominee may be referring to a common practice on the autism spectrum known as "masking," which is defined by Autism Services People “learn, practice, and perform certain behaviors and suppress others in order to be more like those around them.”

The Grammy nominee's revelation comes two years after she faced controversy in the 2021 film Music , in which she cast her frequent dancer and muse Maddie Ziegler He is portrayed as a neurotic person and plays an autistic child who cannot speak. There is also a scene in the film in which Ziegler's character is physically restrained during a breakdown, a practice that has been widely criticized in the autism community.

Sia initially defended Ziegler's casting and her portrayal of autism, asking fans and critics to "see my movie before judging it," before issuing an apology on Twitter and promising to do more in the future Restricted scenes were removed from the film's print. “I listened to the wrong people, and that’s my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough and extensive enough,” she wrote, before deactivating her Twitter account entirely. A year later, Sia revealed that the controversy caused her to consider suicide and return from sobriety. "I was suicidal, relapsed, and went to rehab," she told The New York Times , explaining that her friend Kathy Griffin "saved my life."

Now, Sia says she's in recovery after relapsing but still relates to many of the quirks that "Survivor" Season 44 finalist Carolyn Wiger talked about on her podcast, Carolyn Wiger Wiig has been sober since 2009. "No one can understand you and love you when you are full of secrets and ... living in shame," she said. “When we finally sit in a room full of strangers and tell them our deepest, darkest, most shameful secrets, and everyone laughs with us…then we can begin to go out into the world as human beings Act on your heart with your human identity, rather than pretending to be something else.”