Beyoncé has been criticized for using an ableist slur on her Renaissance track “Heated”.
The musician sings towards the end of the song, “Sp***in’ on that a**, sp** on that a**.”
The release comes not long after Lizzo spoke out after facing backlash for also using the word in her new single “Grrrls”, with her releasing a statement and changing the words to the song.
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) June 13, 2022
Beyoncé will now change the lyrics as well, with a rep confirming to ET Canada: “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”
They added, “The road to success is always under construction.”
Despite the word meaning something different in the U.S., it’s often used as a derogatory term against people with disabilities, especially those with cerebral palsy.
Disability advocate Hannah Diviney voiced her disappointment in a piece for The Guardian, writing: “It’s not very often that I don’t know what to say, rendered speechless by ignorance, sadness and a simmering anger born of bone-deep exhaustion. But that’s how I feel right now,” pointing out that her previous Lizzo tweet had gone viral.
She added on Twitter:
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
Scope, which is a charity campaigning for equality for disabled people, wrote:
Here we are again.
Not long after ableist language from Lizzo, Beyoncé’s new album features an ableist slur not once, but twice.
Disabled people’s experiences are not fodder for song lyrics. This must stop.https://t.co/UJXrJxdtXf
— Scope (@scope) August 1, 2022
See more response below.
— Mike Smith (@mikedgsmith) August 1, 2022
Beyoncé faces backlash over ableist slur in lyrics to new track ‘Heated’
It may mean something a bit different in USA
But I am outraged at use of word sp***ic https://t.co/Z2wMt4MWL0
— Sarah Clift (@SarahClift10) August 1, 2022
When @lizzo realised she used an ableist slur in her song, not only did she apologise but she re recorded to remove the slur. It was big news in music just a few weeks ago. So it’s so disappointing to see Beyoncé releasing an album using the exact same slur 😪
— Evie Uí Cnáimhín (sí/í) 🇺🇦 🇵🇸 🏳️⚧️ (@Evie_Nevin) August 1, 2022
Surely Beyoncé/her team must recognise that this is unnaceptable. Ableist slurs are not funny or cute and when the use of this particular word has been so publicly slammed so recently, there is no excuse. https://t.co/wnvJ8Bq0ff
— Mabh (@Mabherick) August 1, 2022
When Beyoncé dropped the same ableist slur as Lizzo on her new album, my heart sank. I’m so tired. Disabled people deserve better. I don’t want to have this conversation again. https://t.co/cVoobQbHlC
— Bruce Bassam (@Bruce_Bassam) August 1, 2022