Beyonce to Change 'Heated' Lyrics to Remove the Word 'Spaz' After Being Called Out for Using 'Ableist Language'

Beyoncé is making some changes to her ‘Renaissance’ album after receiving backlash.

via Insider:

Fans and activists criticized the use of the word “spaz” in the song “Heated.” The word has been used to refer in a derogatory way to people with disabilities, especially people with cerebral palsy. In African American Vernacular English, a dialect of English created and used in Black communities, the word means to “go crazy” or “fight.”

In a statement to Insider, a representative for the Grammy-winning singer said the lyric would be changed.

“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” the statement said.

In June, Lizzo apologized and rereleased the song “Grrrls” with new lyrics after she received backlash for including the same word in the song.

Some people questioned whether Beyoncé saw the backlash to Lizzo two months earlier.

Hannah Diviney, a disability advocate, wrote in an opinion article in The Guardian that Beyoncé’s status as a culturally significant singer “doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language.”

“I’m so tired. Disabled people deserve better. I don’t want to have this conversation again,” she wrote.

Warren Kirwan, a media manager at the UK disability equality charity Scope, told Insider that removing the word matters because the use of the word can reinforce negative attitudes toward people with disabilities

A survey of 4,015 adults with disabilities in England and Wales conducted in May and June by Scope and Opinium Research found that about nine out of 10 respondents who reported having experienced negative attitudes and behaviors said it had a personal impact on them.

“It’s appalling that one of the world’s biggest stars has chosen to include this deeply offensive term,” Kirwan said.

“Just weeks ago, Lizzo received a huge backlash from fans who felt hurt and let down after she used the same abhorrent language. Thankfully she did the right thing and rerecorded the song. It’s hard to believe that could have gone unnoticed by Beyoncé’s team.” least she’s changing it, right?

Share This Post