Thursday, February 22, 2024

Beyoncé faces criticism for using an ableist slur on Renaissance, set to change song lyrics

Beyoncé, an American singer-songwriter who recently released her most recent album, “Renaissance,” has come under fire for using a phrase that has a derogatory, ableist connotation. People have called her out for it.

In light of this, the 40-year-old has promised to alter the song’s controversial lyrics. According to reports, in the song “Heated,” she uses the disparaging word “sp*z” in a lyric, which is an ableist slur derived from the word “spastic,” which is frequently used to demean people with spastic cerebral palsy.

Read more: Beyoncé faces criticism for using an ableist slur on Renaissance, set to change song lyrics

The Cambridge dictionary explains that a spastic person is “someone who suffers from cerebral palsy (a condition of the body that makes it difficult to control the muscles)”.

The singer’s publicist has confirmed to the BBC that the word was “not used intentionally in a harmful way”, and that it will “be replaced in the lyrics”. However, it was not clear as to when that would happen and no official statement has been made by Beyoncé either.

The word was “not used purposefully in a damaging way,” according to the singer’s publicist, who also assured the BBC that it will be “replaced in the lyrics.” However, it remained unclear when that would occur, and Beyoncé hasn’t made any official announcements either.

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Disability advocate Hannah Diviney was quoted as telling the BBC that when the singer’s fans heard the track, it felt “like a slap in the face”. “I’m tired and frustrated that we’re having this conversation again so soon after we got such a meaningful and progressive response from Lizzo”.

Diviney referred to a recent similar episode, wherein rapper Lizzo was also criticised because the lyrics of her single ‘Grrrls‘ were ‘ableist’. Her song, too, had the word ‘sp*z’ in it, with activists calling her an ‘ableist’ — someone who may potentially discriminate against people with disabilities and/or people who are perceived to be disabled.

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Lizzo then wrote a public apology and said she “never want to promote derogatory language”, before changing the lyrics.

Per the BCC report, disability charity Scope had asked Beyoncé to re-record the song. “It’s good Beyoncé has acted so swiftly after disabled people yet again called out this thoughtless lyric,” Scope’s media manager Warren Kirwan was quoted as saying. “There’s a feeling of deja vu as it’s just a few weeks since Lizzo also had to re-release a song after featuring the same offensive language.”

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