Sia has revealed that she is on the autism spectrum, two years after drawing criticism for her portrayal of people with autism in her directorial debut, Music. After that film’s release, Sia tweeted several apologies, promising to remove a scene involving a dangerous method of restraint, and to attach a disclaimer that the movie “in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people.” At the time, Sia said she had “two people on the spectrum advising [her] at all times” while making the movie, but did not allude to being neuroatypical herself.
Sia appeared on Rob Has a Podcast, which is about the TV show Survivor, to congratulate a runner-up contestant, Carolyn Wiger, whom Sia called her “favorite player in forever” and offered $100,000 to help with her financial struggles. Wiger has previously said she is not on the autism spectrum but has ADHD and is in recovery for addiction. In consoling her, Sia said, “I’m on the spectrum, and I’m in recovery—there’s a lot of things,” and added that she found relief in “knowing about which neuroatypicality [she] may have or may not have.”
Sia continued: “I think one of the greatest things is that nobody can ever know you and love you when you’re filled with secrets and living in shame. And when we finally sit in a roomful of strangers and tell them our deepest, darkest, most shameful secrets, and everybody laughs along with us, and we don’t feel like pieces of trash for the first time in our lives, and we feel seen, for the first time in our lives, for who we actually are—then we can start going out into the world and operating as human beings with hearts, and not pretending to be anything.”
“I’ve felt like for 45 years, I was like, I’ve got to go put my human suit on. And only in the last two years have I become fully myself.” She commended Wiger as someone who “didn’t put her human suit on. Who just showed up and was willing to be rejected, and to be the weird one.” Sia added, “The kook in me recognizes the kook in you.”
Watch the interview below. Sia appears at the 10:18 mark.