The video has been receiving a ton of criticism and has been the subject of controversy for many due to the age difference between the two actors, Shia LaBeouf and Maddie Ziegler. In the video, the two actors portray warring Sia's at different stages of her life. Maddie and Shia are dressed in skin colored leotards and, filled with emotional intensity, the two "battle" inside of a giant birdcage.
Since it's release it's praise of artistic excellence has been matched with cries of "pedophilia." Critics say that the video makes them uncomfortable and that it's filled with sexual tones. Sia responded to these claims in a short, respectful statement released via Twitter.
"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. I apologize to those who feel triggered by Elastic Heart. My intention was to create some emotional content, not to upset anybody."
Personally, I think Sia did exactly what she set out to do. She created emotional content that was so beautiful, it caused people to think and use their mind to interpret it. I think that's the real problem; In a world where music, and the videos accompanying them, usually consists of flashing lights, made up words, and the writing of a 3-year-old, listeners don't know how to react something that makes them think.
Sia's music is much more than a repetitive made up word like "bae," and so her videos will be much more than scantily clad women dancing around, or some new rapper smoking a blunt and shouting profane lyrics every other word.
So you tell me, what's more disturbing; A video with two extremely talented actors telling a story that stimulates the mind, or the fact that we find it more acceptable to promote and accept the content of half-naked artists singing songs filled with obvious sexual and drug references?