Beyoncé will drop the word “spaz” from one of her new songs, “Heated”, after receiving criticism from disability advocates.
A rep for Beyoncé tells Rolling stone, “Which has not been used in a deliberately harmful manner shall be substituted.” It’s unclear how the song “Hot” will be replaced; At the time of publication, the original version of the song was still live on streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify.
Beyonce uses the word twice on “Heated,” singing, “Spazin’ on that ass, Spaz on that ass.” Although the word was used colloquially in the sense of being insane or wild, “spas”—derived from “spastic”—has been used as a slur for people with disabilities, especially cerebral palsy. Has history.
Just six weeks earlier, Lizzo had received similar criticism for using the same words on one of her new songs, “Grrls”. In response to the uproar, Lizzo apologized and announced her own lyrics change, saying, “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote abusive language. As a fat black woman in America, Many hurtful words have been used against me, so I have amplified power words (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally) … it is the result of my listening and taking action. As an influential artist, I Dedicated to being a part of the change I am waiting for in the world.
Among advocates who criticized Beyoncé’s use of the word was Hannah Diviney, who also played a role in drawing attention to Lizzo’s use of the word. in an op-ed Guardian after the release of RenaissanceOf course, Divine praised Beyoncé’s stature, artistry, and “power to let the world focus on the narratives, struggles, and nuanced live experience of being a black woman.” But, Diviney continued, “this is not an excuse for her to use competent language – language that is often used and all but ignored.”
She continued, “Language you can be sure I will never neglect, no matter what it comes from or what the circumstances are. This is not an excuse for the fact that the teams of people involved in making this album had disabilities. Remembered all the noise made by the community only six weeks ago when Lizzo did the same.