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Sia defends putting dancer Maddie Ziegler in the spotlight: “I feel very protective of her”

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ABC/ Paula LoboNot even Sia’s enormous wigs could hide her from criticism this week.

First, she faced backlash for collaborating with MAC on a charity lipstick, because the cosmetics brand sells its products in China, where animal testing is legal. Now, Sia is being criticized for putting young dancer Maddie Ziegler in the spotlight, after being outspoken about the damaging effects of fame.

In an article for The Guardian, writer Bonnie Malkin questions the double standard while reviewing Sia’s concert.

“Up on the stage in Sydney on Saturday, with [Sia] concealed and Maddie in the spotlight, it seemed that the superstar was deploying a child in a way that she herself refuses to be,” Malkin writes.

Sia responded in a series of tweets, defending her relationship with 15-year-old Maddie.

“This article poses a question I have asked myself often,” she writes. “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 adds, “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.”

Sia continues, “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. 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.”

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