Beyonce Vows to Remove Ableist Slur From New Song ‘Heated’ After Heavy Backlash

After many found the lyrics of her song from her new album ‘Renaissance’ offensive for disabled people, the pop star insists that the word ‘spaz’ is ‘not used intentionally in a harmful way.’

AceShowbizBeyonce Knowles is listening to the critics. The pop superstar is removing an offensive term for disabled people from the lyrics of her new album “Renaissance” after a furious backlash from campaigners.

She announced the move on Monday, August 01, after it was called “ableist” and “offensive” by disability charities and activists. In the song “Heated”, co-written with rapper Drake, Beyonce, 40, used a derogatory term for spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, in the lines, “Spazzing on that a**, spaz on that a**.”

A representative for the musician told Insider on Monday, August 1, the lyric will be changed, saying, “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”

In June, musician Lizzo, 34, was also criticised for using the same term in the song “Grrrls” from her new album “Special”. She apologized and replaced the lyric, saying she had never wanted to “promote derogatory language”, adding, “As a fat Black woman in America, I have had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally, or in my case, unintentionally.)”

In the U.K., the controversial term in question is widely considered offensive, placing second in a 2003 BBC survey of the most offensive terms in Britain relating to anyone with a disability. In the U.S. it still appears in more common use. Australian writer and disability advocate Hannah Diviney said Beyonce’s commitment to musical and visual storytelling did not “excuse” her use of ableist language — language that gets used and ignored all too often”. The campaigner added, “Language you can be sure I will never ignore, no matter who it comes from or what the circumstances are.”

Diviney said about Lizzo’s use of the term, “I thought we’d changed the music industry and started a global conversation about why ableist language — intentional or not — has no place in music. But I guess I was wrong.”

U.K. disability charity Sense initially tweeted about Beyonce’s “Heated” it was “disappointing that another artist is using an offensive term in their song so soon after it was pointed out how hurtful the word is,” and called for “more education to improve awareness of disability”.

U.K. disability charity Sense weighed in on Beyonce’s offensive ‘Heated’ lyrics.

They have praised her for agreeing to change the lyric, saying, “Beyonce has a history of championing inclusivity, and we’re happy that she’s listened to feedback and agreed to re-record the lyric that many disabled people find offensive. We recognise that the word was not used intentionally to cause harm but words have power and can reinforce negative attitudes marginalised groups face. We want to thank Beyoncé for listening and look forward to getting on with enjoying the record.”

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