Speed Reads

second draft

Beyoncé to change Renaissance lyric after criticism over ableist language

For the second time this summer, a singer is tweaking the lyrics to one of their new songs to remove an ableist slur. 

This time, it's Beyoncé, who will change a lyric on the song "Heated" from her latest album Renaissance, her team confirmed to Variety. She faced criticism for using the word "spaz" in the song. 

"The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced," Beyoncé's team told Variety. "The road to success is always under construction."

The word "spaz," short for "spastic," is often considered to be an offensive term referring to spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy. In June, Lizzo faced backlash for using the word in her song "Grrrls." Disability advocate Hannah Diviney explained at the time that "my disability cerebral palsy is literally classified as spastic diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs)," so the song "makes me pretty angry + sad."

Lizzo quickly changed the lyrics, assuring fans, "I never want to promote derogatory language." But on Monday, Diviney wrote a column in The Guardian expressing frustration that even after this episode, the "ableist language" popped up again on the Beyoncé album. 

"The teams of people involved in making this album somehow missed all the noise the disabled community made only six weeks ago when Lizzo did the same thing," she wrote, adding, "I'm so tired. Disabled people deserve better. I don't want to have this conversation again."