The Aussie singer says she did not intend to upset past victims of sexual abuse with the provocative clip
Sia has apologised for any emotional distress caused by the video for her latest single, "Elastic Heart", after concerns were raised about potentially disturbing content in the clip with Shia LaBeouf and "Chandelier" star Maddie Ziegler.
One fan said that the video should have come with a trigger warning for any survivors of abuse or grooming:
The new Sia video is all kinds of terrifying when you have grooming/abuse in your past. Wish it had come with a warning.— K (@k_livingproofx2) January 8, 2015
The five-minute film shows LaBeouf – clad only in a pair of flesh-coloured pants – and Ziegler caked in dirt, engaged in a physically intense dance-off in a giant cage. The obvious 16-year age gap between the two dance partners led one commentator to argue that it "smacks of child molestation".
The Australian singer-songwriter said on Twitter that she did not intend the video to trigger any past victims of child abuse:
I anticipated some 'pedophelia!!!' Cries for this video. All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play— sia (@Sia) January 8, 2015
These two warring 'sia' self states.— sia (@Sia) January 8, 2015
Ryan Heffington – the same dancer who directed Ziegler in "Chandelier" – acted as choreographer for "Elastic Heart". The video has already racked up over 3.5 million views on YouTube since it was uploaded yesterday.
Neither Ziegler nor LaBeouf have responded to the controversy.
LaBeouf himself is a past victim of sexual abuse. In December, he alleged that a woman raped him during his performance of #IAMSORRY, in which visitors were invited to interact with the actor alone in a room.
"One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me," he said in an interview with Dazed. "There were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with dishevelled hair and smudged lipstick."
Some abuse survivors have leapt to Sia's defence. "As a victim of abuse, your video is NOT offensive," one fan tweeted at the singer. "It is actually beautiful... Clearly people are overreacting."
What do you think? Should the video come with some kind of trigger warning?
Watch the video below: