Sia responds to accusations of child exploitation in her music videos

Mike P Williams

Popstar Sia has taken to social media to address the raised issue of using teen dancer Maddie Ziegler as a front for her music videos.

Sia and Maddie Ziegler perform on stage together. (Credit: REX)

The singer-songwriter has spoken out over Maddie being the face of her and her brand and posted on Twitter to address an opinion piece published in the Guardian over the potential negative effects fame is having on the 15-year-old dancer.

The piece raises the issue that Sia is stepping away from the limelight only to put a youngster directly into it, thus placing someone else in the media’s eye as she attempts to evade it.

Her four-part articulate response expressed how ‘protective’ and consciously ‘responsible’ she is for Maddie’s well-being and acknowledges that this is an ‘important conversation’ to be having.

The Chandelier singer spoke candidly about how Maddie is her priority and if she chooses to stop then she does, which sounds fair enough.

It was noted on Twitter how Guardian author Bonnie Malkin does raise some valid points, such as how “the grown-up who has seen what fame can do and fears it has, perhaps unwittingly, handed it over to the child instead.”

In a time where people’s safety – especially women’s and children’s – is a very public concern, the dialogue opened by both Malkin and Sia herself appears a productive one.

Maddie has been dancing on stage and screen for Sia’s music videos since 2014.

Sia, real name Kate Furler, discovered the talented dancer on reality show Dance Moms and asked if she wanted to appear in one of her videos. With the singer being famously private and (for a while at least) totally secretive over her identity, it seemed the perfect solution.

The singer said this is “an important conversation” to be had, regarding young stars in the spotlight. (Credit: PA)

The nimble dancer has since starred in six of Sia’s music videos and has been a part of her global tour and represented her numerous times on television .

Yet the video for Elastic Heart, which co-starred actor Shia LaBeouf, caused a stir when people criticised the singer for sexualising the then 12-year-old starlet alongside a grown man. The Australian singer hit back, insisting it was an artistic decision of expression and apologised if it had caused any offence.

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