Lizzo dropped her new single “Grrrls” on Friday, but the song is making headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Over the weekend, fans flocked to social media to call out the singer for her choice to use the word “spaz” in the opening verse, viewing it as a derogatory term. (“Hold my bag, b—h/ Hold my bag/ Do you see this s–t?/ I’m a spaz/ I’m about to knock somebody out/ Yo, where my best friend?/ She the only one I know to talk me off the deep end,” she sings over the sample of “Girls” by the Beastie Boys.)
“Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better,” one disappointed listener wrote.
Another tweeted, “It doesn’t matter if lizzo knew the ableist connotations of the word sp*z, it is still problematic. so many people will sing this song and integrate the word into their day to day language.”
Others even petitioned Lizzo directly to remove the word from the song altogether. “Hey @lizzo please remove the word ‘spaz’ from your new song because it’s a slur and really offensive to the disabled community,” one wrote, signing off, “From a disappointed fan.”
We were unaware that ‘spaz’ was considered a slur — but we’ve learned today!
Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.
— Hannah Diviney (@hannah_diviney) June 12, 2022
Hey @lizzo please remove the word "spaz" from your new song because it's a slur and really offensive to the disabled community
From a disappointed fan ??
— Shelby ? (@Shelbykinsxo) June 10, 2022
Y’all, I’m not defending LIZZO I’m literally fucking disabled in multiple ways (autistic and chronically I’ll) I’ve been called spastic and spaz ALL MY LIFE!, hearing her use the slur hurt me BUT I just wanted to acknowledge it has another meaning in AAVE
— Hayley ????? OFMD (@zittiblackbeard) June 12, 2022
A VERY influential figure, using the word [email protected] in her new song.
An offensive and derogatory term. As someone who’s written about the use of disability language, especially slang/slur words which have been used in schools, this is a huge step back.
Please, remove it.
— Kate Stanforth (@KateStanforth) June 11, 2022