Sia has once again defended her casting of Maddie Ziegler in her film 'Music', hailing the move "nepotism".

The 'Cheap Thrills' hitmaker recently faced controversy because of the casting of her frequent collaborator as an autistic girl (Music) who moves in with her newly-sober half-sibling Zu (Kate Hudson), despite the fact the 18-year-old star isn't autistic herself.

Sia then defended the casting choice, insisting it was more "compassionate" than hiring someone with autism.
She tweeted: "I did try. It felt more compassionate to use Maddie. That was my call...

"I cast thirteen neuroatypical people, three trans folk, and not as f****** prostitutes or drug addicts but s as doctors, nurses and singers. F****** sad nobody’s even seen the dang movie. My heart has always been in the right place.(sic)"

And in a new interview on Australia's 'The Sunday Project', the 45-year-old singer-and-director continued to double down on the decision.

She said: “I realised it wasn’t ableism.

“I mean, it is ableism I guess as well, but it’s actually nepotism because I can’t do a project without her. I don’t want to. I wouldn’t make art if it didn’t include her.”

Maddie - who has starred in many of Sia's music videos, including the promos for 'Elastic Heart' and 'Chandelier' - feared people would think she was “making fun” of autistic people.

Sia insisted: “I bold-facedly said, ‘I won’t let that happen.'"

However, she realised she cannot "protect" her from the criticism.

The 'Unstoppable' hitmaker added: “Last week, I realised I couldn’t really protect her from that, which I thought I could. We sent it off to the Child Mind Institute and she received 100 per cent as performance accuracy. I realise that there are some things I can’t protect her from as much as I try.”