Sia is defending her work with Maddie Ziegler, who serves as her muse on tour and in music videos, saying her goal is to “empower” the 15-year-old dancer.
After attending one of the singer’s recent concerts, Bonnie Malkin wrote an article for The Guardian, titled, “The Sia conundrum: if fame is so damaging, why pass it on to a child?” The writer discussed how the Grammy nominee stays almost hidden behind her concealing wigs, instead opting for the young Dance Moms alum to be the face of the performances.
“[Sia] herself might not be willing to marry fame but standing on the stage in front of us, she seemed to be officiating another marriage,” said Malkin. “Not to a ‘perfect blank slate’ but to a minor who is yet to learn about, or tame, the monster.”
Responding Wednesday via several tweets, Sia revealed Malkin’s concerns are something she often thinks about herself. “I do check in with Maddie weekly about whether she wants this, and assure her if she ever wants it to stop it stops,” she wrote. “Maddie was already famous when I discovered her, but I have certainly expanded her exposure and feel responsible for that. I feel very protective of her and my goal is to empower her in whatever choices she makes. Some would argue a teenager can’t or shouldn’t be charged with making sound choices for themselves and so I do try to choose the best for her always. But I think this is an important conversation.”
She concluded, “What I learned from Maddie is that fame affects her differently than how it affected me. I can only trust that she is telling me the truth. If that changes, we stop.”
Representatives for Sia and Ziegler did not immediately respond to EW’s request for comment.