Beyoncé has updated the lyrics to one of the songs on her recently released album Renaissance after facing backlash over the use of an ableist term.
Bey’s team released a statement Monday in response to growing complaints against the singer’s use of the word “spaz” in the song “Heated” off her seventh solo album, People reported.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” the statement says.
On the track, co-written by Drake, Beyoncé sings the line: “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.” The term was criticized by disability activists who said the use of the word is “ableist.”
While the word “spaz” is often used as slang to describe “freaking out” or “going crazy,” it derives from the word “spastic,” which is deemed a demeaning term to people with spastic cerebral palsy, CNN reported.
Once Beyoncé released Renaissance on Friday, it didn’t take too long for advocates to call her out. Hannah Diveney penned an opinion piece in The Guardian and the disability charity Sense expressed how “disappointing” it was to see the Grammy award-winning singer use the derogatory term.
“Disappointing that another artist is using an offensive term in their song so soon after it was pointed out how hurtful the word is,” Sense tweeted. “Hoping Beyonce follows Lizzo’s example and changes the track. We need more education to improve awareness of disability.”
Disappointing that another artist is using an offensive term in their song so soon after it was pointed out how hurtful the word is.
Hoping Beyonce follows Lizzo's example and changes the track.
We need more education to improve awareness of disability.https://t.co/pfDcFNdpKI
— Sense (@sensecharity) August 1, 2022
Bey’s decision to change the lyrics follows singer Lizzo who did the same thing after facing backlash over the lyrics to her song “Grrrls,” over the line, “Hold my bag, bit*h/ Hold my bag/ Do you see this s***?/ I’m a sp*z.”
After receiving the criticism, Lizzo posted an apology on social media and changed the song lyrics to say “hold me back.” Lizzo took accountability saying, “As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”