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Tuesday, August 2, 2022 – Beyonce is facing heat online from disability advocates after using an albeist slur in one of her songs.
After six years of waiting, Beyonce? dropped her seventh studio album Renaissance on Friday, July 29 and the album has received critical acclaim climbing to number one in over 100 countries over the weekend.
The hit maker is now facing some backlash over some lyrics in the song “Heated” causing her to change the lyrics.
Track number 11 on the album, includes the word sp**, offending some of her fans and listeners of the album.
In the four-minute-long song “Heated”, which was co-written by Canadian rapper Drake, Beyoncé sings the lyrics;
“Spazzin’ on that ass, spaz on that ass.” Though the word was ostensibly used in a colloquial way to mean going crazy or wild, “spaz” — which is derived from “spastic” — has a history of being used as a slur for those with disabilities, especially cerebral palsy.
Spastic cerebral palsy is the most common type of cerebral palsy, a disability that affects movement and coordination.
The lyrics inspired a thought piece by disability advocate Hannah Diviney, for The Guardian and disability support network Hireup, in which she wrote: “Beyoncé’s commitment to storytelling musically and visually is unparalleled, as is her power to have the world paying attention to the narratives, struggles and nuanced lived experience of being a Black woman.… But that doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language.”
A representative for Beyoncé has confirmed to Variety that the lyrics will be replaced. They have also stated the lyrics were not intended in a “harmful way.”
The short statement by Beyonce reads: “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”
Beyoncé is not the first artist to alter her lyrics in recent months.
Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo, removed the same word from her song “Grrrls” from her fourth studio album, “Special” where she sang ” Do you see this s***? I’m a sp**.”
Lizzo changed the lyrics to “Do you see this s***? Hold me back.”
Announcing the change, Lizzo took to her social media accounts to address her fans.
She said: “It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘Grrrls.’ Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote the 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 “Grrrls” with a lyric change. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist, I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world. Xoxo, Lizzo”