Beyoncé will take the word “spaz” out of “Heated,” one of her new songs.
Her decision came after she received criticism from disability rights activists.
On the song “Heated,” Beyoncé sings, “Spazzin’ on that ass, spaz on that ass,” using the term twice. The word “spastic,” which is derived from it, was initially used in a colloquial sense to describe going crazy or wild. But “spaz” has a history of being used as a derogatory term for people with disabilities; particularly those who have cerebral palsy.
Last week, the singer released her latest and seventh studio album, Renaissance.
Although the album was favorably received, the singer faced backlash for using an inappropriate word as the track’s outro.
Disability advocate Hannah Diviney wrote on Twitter, “So, @Beyonce used the word ‘sp**’ in her new song ‘Heated’. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community and the progress we tried to make with Lizzo.”
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“Guess I’ll just keep telling the whole industry to ‘do better’ until ableist slurs disappear from music.”
Representatives for Beyoncé confirmed on Monday that the lyric would be removed. They told CNN in a statement that “the word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”
Similar criticism was leveled to Lizzo just six weeks ago for using the same word in one of her brand-new songs, “Grrls.” Lizzo expressed her regret and announced the revision of her own lyrics in reaction to the outrage. She stated, “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote discriminatory language. I exaggerated the influence that words can have; because, as a large black woman in America, I’ve been subjected to a lot of harmful language; (intentionally or, as was the case in my situation, accidentally). I listened and did something, and the end effect is this. I’m committed to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world as an influential artist.