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Sia film ‘Music’ criticized for ‘irresponsible’ depiction of autism

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Sia film 'Music' criticized for 'irresponsible' depiction of autism

Sia’s directorial debut “Music” is being panned by the autism community for what it says are inaccurate and dangerous depictions of the condition.

The criticism of the Golden Globe nominated picture has caused the Australian singer to apologize and reedit the movie, according to USA Today.

The streaming film features a scene where a character with autism is being restrained to calm her down – a practice advocates have blasted.

In the movie, Music is a young non-verbal autistic woman who is being cared for by her half-sister Zu, played by Kate Hudson.

Some critics have taken issue with the casting of the lead role, saying she should have been played by an actor with autism, not Maddie Ziegler.

“I don’t even know where to start,” Camille Proctor, executive director and founder of The Color of Autism Foundation, told USA Today.

“I don’t like the portrayal of the young autistic woman. I feel like (Ziegler) was doing parody,” she told the paper.

“The autistic community has been fighting for decades to end the use of restraints that traumatize and kill,” said Zoe Gross, director of advocacy at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, in a statement.

Communication First, an advocacy group for the disabled, echoed the same concerns.

“Had the filmmakers chosen to meaningfully involve autistic people from the beginning, we could have told them how catastrophically irresponsible it is to encourage viewers to use the kind of deadly restraints that killed Max Benson, Eric Parsa, and many other members of our community,” the group said.

Benson, 13, died in 2018 after being restrained for hours at his California school.

His mother reached out to Sia, calling for the scenes to be removed, according to the Washington Post.

Parsa, a Louisiana 16-year-old with severe autism, died after sheriff’s deputies sat on him in an effort to keep him still, the New York Times reports.

In the wake of the criticism, a disclaimer will be added to the movie, reading: “MUSIC in no way condones or recommends the use of restraint on autistic people. There are autistic occupational therapists that specialize in sensory processing who can be consulted to explain safe ways to provide proprioceptive, deep-pressure feedback to help (with) meltdown safety,” according to Variety .

Sia has apologized to advocates and said she “listened to the wrong people and that is my responsibility, my research was clearly not thorough enough, not wide enough.” 

The freshman director deleted her Twitter account following the controversy, and said the restraint scenes will be deleted from future versions of the movie.

Sia also said she now regrets brushing off early critics and doubling down on her choice to cast Ziegler, who starred in her “Chandelier” music video.

“Looking back, I should have just shut up; I know that now,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Despite its detractors, “Music” has won acclaim, receiving two Golden Globe nominations; for best motion picture, musical or comedy, and best actress in a musical or comedy (Hudson).

Some advocates have called for boycotts of any award shows that honor the film.

The National Council on Severe Autism’s president Jill Escher gave the film a positive review, saying “I realize some in the autism community profess to be offended by the portrayal, but why? Perhaps it wasn’t perfect, but it was a beautiful performance on many levels.”

However many more disagree, including Will Lasley, an autistic man from Tennessee, who talked to USA Today.

“While I know there are people on the spectrum who act similarly to her, it doesn’t justify how ridiculous she acts,” he told the newspaper. “It doesn’t really look like she’s attempting to portray a real person.”

Others have blasted the lead character.

“Music has no character arc to speak of and, aside from some pretentious interpretive song-and-dance numbers meant to put us ‘in her mind,’ we never get a sense of her personality or perspective,” Salon reviewer Mattew Rozsa wrote.

Proctor, of The Color of Autism Foundation, said Hudson’s portrayal of “a callous relative (of an autistic person) who is selfish,” is the one thing the picture got right, according to USA Today.

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Saudi Arabia, citing COVID, bans foreigners from hajj

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Saudi Arabia, citing COVID, bans foreigners from hajj

Saudi Arabia is banning foreigners from attending the Hajj again this year because of the pandemic.

It will also limit the number of people who can take part in the annual pilgrimage to Mecca to 60,000, a fraction of the 2 million that attend in a normal year.

Still, the figure is far more than the 1,000 permitted last year, two-thirds of whom were foreign residents from among the 160 different nationalities that would have normally been represented. One-third were Saudi security personnel and medical staff.

A statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency on Saturday said this year’s hajj, which begins in mid-July, would be also limited to vaccinated people aged 18 to 65, The Associated Press reported

All able-bodied Muslims who can afford it are required to perform the physically demanding pilgrimage to the religion’s holiest sites at least once in their lifetimes.

It follows a route the Prophet Muhammad walked nearly 1,400 years ago and is believed to ultimately trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail, or Abraham and Ishmael as they are named in the Bible. It is seen as a chance to wipe clean past sins and encourage greater humility and unity.

In a typical year, most pilgrims also visit Medina, about 280 miles northeast of Mecca, to visit the Mosque of the Prophet, which contains Muhammad’s tomb.

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Remote workers put in longer hours but were less efficient: study

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Remote workers put in longer hours but were less efficient: study

Employees are beginning to trickle back into their offices just in time — after a new study found that remote work reduces productivity.

The study, which surveyed the remote work habits of 10,000 employees at an Asian technology company between April 2019 and August 2020, found a 20 percent decrease in output, according to a recent report.

Although the workers in “Work from home & productivity: evidence from personnel & analytics data on IT professionals”, by Michael Gibbs, Friederike Mengel and Christoph Siemroth seemed to work longer hours, they were not as efficient as they would be in a structured workplace.

The study found that although the workers spent 30 percent more time working from home, their productivity fell as they spent more time in meetings with their bosses to constantly outline their responsibilities.

The academics also pointed out that the staff at the unnamed firm they studied were involved in particularly challenging work that might be better suited to an office environment. Employees in less-skilled occupations, such as making customer calls, might be better suited to remote situations, the study said.

The subjects of the study were highly trained and their work involved “significant cognitive work, developing new software or hardware applications or solutions, collaborating with teams of professionals, working with clients, and engaging in innovation and continuous improvement.”

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OnlyFans model Karley Stokes cries foul over bikini Instagram photo

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OnlyFans model Karley Stokes cries foul over bikini Instagram photo

OnlyFans model Karley Stokes has cried foul after she was kicked out of a $21,000-per-week Florida villa because she posted a photo of herself lounging by the property’s pool wearing a bikini, the Mirror reports.

Karley Stokes, who has made a name for herself posting racy fare on OnlyFans, insisted that she was the victim of bikini-related discrimination.

The bikini-clad Karley Stokes rented the villa for a week last month, vacationing from her life as an OnlyFans model with seven friends.

She and her pals told the property owner that they planned to kick back and relax in the house, and also shoot some yoga videos.

The group checked into the luxury pad on May 25 and were shown around by the property manager.

OnlyFans model kicked out of £18,000-a-week villa for sharing bikini pic taken inside

All seemed well at first, and the relaxation and revelry began.

But a few hours later, Karley Stokes’ bikini-wearing fun was interrupted, when the manager came back to scold the OnlyFans model for her social media post.

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“She acted like everything was OK but after leaving she looked up our Instagram accounts and came back several hours later,” Karley Stokes recalled of how her work on OnlyFans came back to bite her, the Daily Star reports.

“She claimed that she knew we were going to be shooting porn at their location because of our past Instagram posts.”

After they splashed thousands to rent the space, the content creators were felt “uneasy” when they were branded “porn stars”.

OnlyFans model kicked out of £18k-a-week villa after ‘taking bikini pic in pool’

“We always told her that no we were not – we were using the time to hang with friends as a mini vacation to relax, meditate and work on yoga,” Karley Stokes reported about the confrontation she experienced with the property manager, who took one look at her bikini post and figured she was planning to shoot OnlyFans videos on site.

“She acted like we were doing something wrong and it made me super uneasy,” Stokes lamented.

“She collected all of the guests’ drivers’ license IDs and made copies of them.”

Earlier this month, The Daily Beast reported a somewhat similar story about a T-Mobile employee who sued the company’s HR department after being asked probing questions about her OnlyFans account.

A T-Mobile retail employee has filed a gender discrimination suit against the company, claiming the human resources department inappropriately asked about her OnlyFans account while she reported a physical assault. Caitlyn Stevens told The Verge that while she was working at a T-Mobile store in Fort Worth, Texas, a male employee tried to attack her. When she reported it, she claims, she was transferred—so she reported the incident to human resources.

T-Mobile Employee Files Suit, Claims HR Asked About OnlyFans

Karley Stokes and her bikini-clad friends thought that the interrogation from the property manager would be the end of their OnlyFans-driven worries.

But then the next day, a security guard came and summarily kicked them out of the villa.

“We were in the backyard at the pool – where I had taken an Instagram picture – and at about 1pm, a hired security guard showed up at the house and tells us our lease has been terminated and that we have to leave or they would call the police,” Stokes said. “It was literally crazy how they were acting like we were doing something illegal, when all of the guests were completely clothed in swimsuits and we were having a BBQ in the backyard. We were forced to leave after not even being there 24 hours.”

Knewz previously reported the sad tale of an influencer model who was raked over the coals for “scamming” her fans into paying for an OnlyFans page with no sexually explicit content.

Fans of YouTuber and gaming influencer model Corinna Kopf are calling foul after it was revealed her OnlyFans page consisted of reposts of her Instagram snaps.

Influencer model slammed for ‘scamming’ fans ‘after her OnlyFans page is revealed to just be tame Instagram reposts’

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