Continuing the promotion of her sixth album, 1,000 Forms of Fear, Sia recently released the official video for her single, “Elastic Heart,” starring Shia LeBeouf and Maddie Ziegler.
Choreographed by Ryan Heffington and directed by Sia and Daniel Askill, the director of Sia’s 2004 video for her single, “Breathe Me,” “Elastic Heart” features Ziegler and LeBeouf apprehensively dancing around each other in wild, hesitant moves, with Ziegler resembling a wild animal and LeBeouf resembling a caged creature, confronting and eventually consoling one another as they embody the torment one feels when struggling to define oneself and reconcile the past with the future.
The video has managed to spark a decent amount of controversy among music fans with some calling for Youtube to ban the video due to what they believe is the video’s overly-pedophilic imagery; many commenters on the video’s Youtube page point to the 15 year age difference between 13 year-old Ziegler and 28 year-old LeBeouf and to the barely-there wardrobe worn by LeBeouf and Ziegler, though not uncommon for performative dance pieces.
Others have come to the defense of the video, calling it art and a poetic performance piece. Either way you view it the video is racking up views, quickly climbing to 3.5 million views in the 24 hours since being uploaded to Youtube with almost 99,000 likes and 3,150 dislikes.
Sia responded to the outcries on twitter, tweeting an apology to those who felt triggered or upset by the video in a series of tweets:
“I apologize to those who feel triggered by #ElasticHeart My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody.”
“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 these two warring ‘sia’ self states.”