Grammy-winning songstress Beyonce has announced that she will amend the lyrics to her new single Heated after she came under fire for ableism.
The song, which is included on her recent release Renaissance, includes the lyrics “Spazzin’ on that a**, spazz on that a**.” And according to disability advocate Hannah Diviney, the word “spazz” is discriminatory. So Diviney called on Beyonce to rethink including it in Heated.
In an opinion piece published in The Guardian this past weekend, Diviney wrote that “Beyoncé’s commitment to storytelling musically and visually is unparalleled, as is her power to have the world paying attention to the narratives, struggles, and nuanced lived experience of being a Black woman. But that doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language.”
In the medical field, “spastic” refers to people who have constant muscle spasms, especially in their legs and arms.
Today (Aug. 1), Beyonce’s team shared that the singer will re-work the lyrics.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” the team wrote in a statement.
Lizzo Also Changed Her Lyrics After Fans and Activists Called Out the Lyrics to ‘GRRRLS’
In June, Hannah Diviney publically addressed Lizzo for using the same word in her new song titled GRRRLS. The 34-year-old singer immediately responded with a social media post.
“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS,'” she wrote on Instagram on June 13. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language.”
The singer continued by sharing that she has been the subject of hurtful terms herself. So she understands the “power” that words have over people. And she was “proud to say” that she had already replaced the lyrics “I’m a spaz” with “hold me back.”
“This is the result of me listening and taking action,” Lizzo continued. “As an influential artist, I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”
Despite the bad press, both artists’ albums became instant successes and are continuing to sit on the charts. Beyonce’s record even made history by becoming Spotify’s most-streamed album in a single day by a female artist in 2022. And the feat came after someone leaked Renaissance before its debut.
“So, the album leaked, and you all actually waited until the proper release time to enjoy it all together,” Beyoncé wrote on Instagram on July 29. “I’ve never seen anything like it. I can’t thank y’all enough for your love and protection. I appreciate you for calling out anyone that was trying to sneak into the club early. It means the world to me.”