Singer-songwriter Sia Furler has worked with now 15-year-old dance prodigy Maddie Ziegler on several projects throughout the years. Ziegler's most famous appearance perhaps being in the 'Elastic Heart' music video, also starring Shia LaBeouf. Ziegler most recently appeared in Sia's 'The Greatest.'
Now, Ziegler's appearance at the first show of Sia's 2017 Australian tour has earned criticism from Bonnie Malkin of Guardian Australia. In an article, Malkin quoted Sia's description of fame as a monster that “questions everything there is to question. Even things I had never thought to question. Things I had never dreamed of feeling insecure about.”
“Me and fame will never be married,” Sia continued.
Malkin points out that it's a "conundrum" for someone who sees fame in such a negative light to expose a child to this level of attention.
"[Sia] herself might not be willing to marry fame but standing on the stage in front of us, she seemed to be officiating another marriage... to a minor who is yet to learn about, or tame, the monster."
Sia took to Twitter to respond to Malkin, explaining that Ziegler was famous before she started working with her, and that she is very “protective” of her and wants to “empower [Ziegler] in whatever choices she makes.”
This article poses a question I have asked myself often. I do check in with Maddie weekly about whether she wants this, and assure her if she ever wants it to stop it stops. It's a conversation we should all be having. Not just myself but all directors, stage parents and agents.— sia (@Sia) December 6, 2017
With their children, clients, charges. Maddie was already famous when I discovered her, but I have certainly expanded her exposure and feel responsible for that. I feel very protective of her and my goal is to empower her in whatever choices she makes. Some would argue a teenager— sia (@Sia) December 6, 2017
What I learned from Maddie is that fame affects her differently than how it affected me. I can only trust that she is telling me the truth. If that changes, we stop.— sia (@Sia) December 6, 2017
Social media users seemed to have mixed responses to the conversation.
It's an interesting one. As the article notes, Maddie was already famous as a child from "Dance Moms". Sia not wanting to be famous herself doesn't imply she feels no-one should, so I don't see this as contradictory. She offers someone the platform she herself declines - win-win.— 𝕊𝕥𝕦 (@tzb) December 7, 2017
A well written and interesting article. A thoughtful question to ponder— Rachel (@rachelsmith181) December 7, 2017
I think as long as Maddie and her parents are ok with Maddie dancing it should be ok. Iooortunities don’t present themselves time after time.— BådGrlCíCí 🎬🎧🎼🎭✨ (@ColumbiaQT) December 7, 2017
What do you think?