Beyonce to remove offensive lyric from Heated song after disabled community outcry
Beyonce at the 63rd annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, on Mar 14, 2021. (Photo: AP Photo/Chris Pizzello, File)
The track, which is on her latest album Renaissance, appears to use the word “spaz”, which is derived from “spastic”, referring to a movement disorder.
Beyonce will remove a derogatory term for disabled people from her new song Heated, a spokesperson said Monday (Aug 1), 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 ass, spazz on that ass.”
“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 and 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.
“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment,” she wrote.
“A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.”