Sia’s latest video for “Elastic Heart” has garnered as much praise as is it has criticism. The highly-performative music video features 12-year-old dance phenom Maddie Ziegler (of “Chandelier” fame) and 28-year-old Shia LeBeouf, dancing in a giant birdcage. Although their relationship is purely interpretive, many critics claim the video had sexual overtones. Scantily clad in nude leotards, the two interact with emotional and physical intensity; a choice that has left more than a few viewers shouting “pedophilia.”
Sia took to her Twitter to address the negative feedback, claiming that while she did expect a few people to cry “pedophilia!!!” that was obviously very FAR from her intention. The singer/songwriter addressed the duo’s relationship in the video saying that Maddie and Shia were meant to convey “two warring ‘sia’ self-states.” Interesting!
She then issued a formal apology with the following statement:
The way she phrases her apology is simple, respectful, and the exact right note to hit when handling such a delicate controversy. She faults no one for feeling the way they do, she merely explains her perspective and intention. Right on, Sia.
Also for the record, we found the music video to be can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it beautiful. Maddie is a dream to watch.
On a lighter note, now we know that Shia and Maddie are meant to represent two different sides of Sia! How cool is that? This changes the meaning of the video, which you’re free to watch (and re-watch, and re-watch, and re-watch) below: