Speed Reads

rewrite

Lizzo changes song lyric after backlash over 'ableist slur'

After backlash, Lizzo's latest song has gone through another draft. 

The singer has announced she's changing a lyric in her new song "Grrrls" after facing criticism for using an offensive term. The original song contained the lyric "I'm a spaz." But disability advocate Hannah Diviney tweeted at the singer that this is an "ableist slur," noting, "My disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia. ... Your new song makes me pretty angry + sad." 

Now, Lizzo says she's changing the lyric after learning about this "harmful" word. 

"Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language," she said. "As a fat Black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally)."

Lizzo added the change was "the result of me listening and taking action," and in the new version, she sings, "Hold me back." 

The situation mirrored backlash "Weird Al" Yankovic faced in 2014 when he released a song, "Word Crimes," that included the word "spastic." After facing criticism, Yankovic apologized and said he didn't realize this is "considered a highly offensive slur."

Though some cited the Lizzo backlash as an example of "cancel culture," fans were quick to praise her response.

"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," Diviney tweeted. "You're a real true ally."