Sia‘s latest video, “Elastic Heart,” depicts an interpretive-dance cage match between 28-year-old Shia LaBeouf and 12-year-old Maddie Ziegler – best known for Dance Moms and Sia’s own Grammy-nominated “Chandelier” clip – dressed in skin-colored leotards as they tussle. Now the singer-songwriter is apologizing to people who felt the clip had perverted overtones and clarifying the true meaning behind the video.
“I anticipated some ‘pedophilia!!!’ cries for this video,” she wrote on Twitter. “All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play these two warring ‘Sia’ self states.” Later, she explained to a Twitter user that LaBeouf and Ziegler were playing the same person. “I apologize to those who feel triggered by ‘Elastic Heart.’ My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody,” she said, ending her statement with an emoji of “thank you” hands.
The Daily Mail reports that social media users inundated the singer with complaints of inappropriateness with regard to the video, whose song appears on Sia’s latest, 1000 Forms of Fear. One upset fan said the video “Smacks of child molestation #pervert #unacceptable #childabuse…Explain please!” Another wrote, “Sia’s ‘Elastic Heart’ video is disgusting.”
In her Twitter replies, Sia also said she planned to put out a “making of” clip of the video next week.
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Ziegler previously appeared in Sia’s “Chandelier” clip, doing a solo interpretive dance in a house while dressed exactly the same as in “Elastic Heart.” As the video became a hit, celebrities tried their hand at a wild “Chandelier” dance. Lena Dunham performed the song on Late Night With Seth Meyers last June, and the following month Ziegler attempted to teach Jimmy Kimmel and his sidekick Guillermo the moves.
Earlier this month, Sia announced that Ziegler would be one of her co-performers for the singer’s appearance on Saturday Night Live on January 17th. Kevin Hart will be hosting that episode.