Beyoncé was criticized for using an ableist slur on her new album Renaissance, on the song ‘Heated’. She has now agreed to change the lyric.
On the track ‘Heated’ which is co-written by Drake, Beyoncé sings: “Sp***in’ on that ass, sp** on that ass,” towards the end of the song which came under attack from a section of society. While “Spaz” is used to describe “go crazy” or ‘freaking out,” its origin is “spastic” which is used medically to describe the spasms one experiences from a condition like cerebral palsy. The term is sometimes used in a derogative manner to describe those with disabilities.
So @Beyonce used the word 'spaz' in her new song Heated. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community & the progress we tried to make with Lizzo. Guess I'll just keep telling the whole industry to 'do better' until ableist slurs disappear from music 💔
— Hannah Diviney (@hannah_diviney) July 30, 2022
But Bey is taking action. Following the backlash, the singer’s publicist told Sky News that she will be altering the lyric which will be updated soon. She also said that Beyonce did not use it “intentionally in a harmful way”. ‘Heated’ is produced by Boi-1da, Jahaan Sweet, Neenyo and Sevn Thomas.
This development comes weeks after Lizzo also received a backlash over an ableist lyric in her single ‘Grrrls’, which she has since addressed and altered. Following criticism of her single, Lizzo responded in a statement, writing: “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand [sic] the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally).”