Lizzo has apologised after using an ableist slur in her new song ‘GRRRLS’.
The single is the latest drop from the artist’s upcoming album ‘Special’, and it’s already causing quite the stir ahead of its release on July 15.
In her song, the singer includes lyrics which contain the word ‘spaz’, a derogatory term for those with cerebral palsy.
The singer-songwriter, who widely champions body positivity in many of her songs, received backlash from fans and the disability community, who expressed their disappointment with the tone deaf lyric.
One writer and disability advocate Hannah Diviney, called out the singer, wishing for her to ‘do better’.
On Twitter, she wrote: “Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy.
“It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.”
Another fan said that the singer opted for an ‘ableist slur’ in an ‘empowering song’, which only promoted exclusion.
She wrote: “I’m truly disappointed by Lizzo’s brazen use of an ableist slur in her new single.
“Sure, she might not have known its true meaning, but how many people approve a song before release? It just shows ignorance and how violent language towards disabled communities is normalised.”
However, after the backlash, Lizzo issued an apology via her social media accounts and removed the lyric from the song.
The 34-year-old wrote: “It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS’. Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language.
“As a fat woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or, in my case, unintentionally).
She added: “I’m proud to say there’s a new version of ‘GRRRLs’ with a lyrics change. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist, I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world. Xoxo, Lizzo.”
Following her swift response, many applauded the singer for taking accountability and recording a second version of the song.
Hannah Diviney took to her Twitter to repost the apology, writing: “I’m going to cry. Thank you so much for hearing us Lizzo, and for understanding that this was only ever meant gently and being open to learning, it honestly means the world.
“You’re a real true ally.”
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