Beyoncé Changing Lyrics Over Disability Concerns
Little more than a month after Lizzo agreed to change her song lyrics after facing backlash from people with disabilities, another major star says she will do the same.
Beyoncé will alter the language in her song “Heated” days after it was released as part of her new album “Renaissance.”
The track contained references to “spaz” and “spazzin,” terms that derive from “spastic” and are often used as slurs toward people with disabilities, particularly in the United Kingdom.
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“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” Beyoncé’s spokeswoman told The New York Times.
In June, Lizzo recorded a new version of her song “Grrrls” after learning that its use of the word “spaz” was offensive to people with disabilities.
“As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world,” Lizzo said at the time.
Hannah Diviney, a disability advocate in Australia who was instrumental in calling out Lizzo, said “my heart sank” when she found out that Beyoncé had chosen to use the same problematic language.
“I thought we’d changed the music industry and started a global conversation about why ableist language — intentional or not — has no place in music. But I guess I was wrong, because now Beyoncé has gone and done exactly the same thing,” Diviney wrote in an opinion piece published in The Guardian.
Diviney said on Twitter that she was “grateful” to learn that Beyoncé would be changing her song.
“Where she leads, the music industry follows,” she wrote.
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