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Tuesday, June 14, 2022 – American singer Lizzo has responded to the outrage that trailed her use of an “ableist” lyric.
The singer was dragged by disability advocates on social media on Monday June 13, for the lyric: “Do you see this s- -t? I’m a sp-z.”
“Sp-z” is a common American colloquialism for the term “spastic,” which means something much more offensive in the UK. In the US, “sp-z” is commonly used as slang to indicate “going crazy” or “freaking out.”
However, in the UK, the word is considered a highly offensive epithet aimed to disparage people living with cerebral palsy, a congenital disorder of movement, muscle tone or posture caused by abnormal brain development during gestation.
Some fans who commented on this, stated that it is necessary Lizzo opted for a different lyric. A statement released afterward by the singer read;
“It’s been brought to my attention that there are [sic] is a harmful word in my song ‘GRRRLS.’
“Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally.)
“I’m proud to say there’s a new version of girls with a lyric change. This is the result of me listening and taking action,” she continued. “As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the challenge change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”