Beyonce to remove offensive lyric from song ‘Heated’ after outcry from people with disabilities

Beyonce to remove offensive lyric from song ‘Heated’ after outcry from people with disabilities

Her use of the word "spazzin" has stirred controversy despite claims that it was not used in a harmful way.
02 Aug, 2022

Beyonce will remove a derogatory term for disabled people from her new song ‘Heated’, a spokesperson said Monday, after its use was condemned as offensive by campaigners.

The US pop megastar will re-record the track from her latest album Renaissance on which she originally sang the lyrics “Spazzin’ on that a**, spazz on that a**.”

“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a spokesperson for Beyonce told AFP via email.

Co-written with Canadian rapper Drake, the dance track appears to use the word “spaz” in the colloquial sense of temporarily losing control or acting erratically.

But disability campaigners noted that the word is derived from “spastic.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, spasticity is a movement disorder involving stiff muscles and awkward movement, suffered by 80 per cent of people with cerebral palsy.

In June, US singer Lizzo re-recorded her song ‘Grrrls’ to remove the same term following complaints that it was derogatory.

Australian disability campaigner Hannah Diviney said the inclusion of the word by Beyonce “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,” she tweeted.

Beyonce’s eagerly anticipated seventh solo studio album Renaissance was released Friday, drawing mainly positive reviews with its nods to disco and electronic dance.

Other collaborators on the album — which leaked online in the days prior to its official release — include Nile Rodgers, Skrillex, Nigerian singer Tems, Grace Jones, Pharrell and Beyonce’s rap mogul husband Jay-Z.

In an Instagram post published soon after the album’s release, Beyonce said creating the album “allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world.

“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgement,” she wrote.

“A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.”


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