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Lizzo Changes Lyrics To New Song ‘GRRRLS’ After Backlash Over ‘Ableist Slur’

@lizzobeeating/Instagram

Last week when Lizzo released her track “Grrrls” to the world, people shared their dismay that the powerhouse singer used a slur in the lyrics of the track. 

Lizzo, however, stepped up and announced the rerelease of the track with updated lyrics and an apology to the disabled community for her misstep.

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“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS,’” the singer wrote. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language.”

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Lizzo went on to add, “As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hateful words used against me so I [understand] the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case unintentionally). I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change.” 

In the original lyrics, the popular singer and rapper included the word “spaz” in the track. This is a slang derogatory term derived from the word “spastic,” which the American Association of Neurological Surgeons describes as “a condition in which muscles stiffen or tighten, preventing normal fluid movement. The muscles remain contracted and resist being stretched, thus affecting movement, speech and gait.” 

This is a common condition that people born with cerebral palsy have, and Twitter user Hannah Diviney, who is one such person, tweeted to explain why the original lyric in Lizzo’s song was considered an ableist slur.

@lizzobeeating/Instagram

“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.”

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When Lizzo announced that the song had been rereleased, Diviney quote retweeted the announcement to thank Lizzo for being a “true ally.”

The rereleased song with its new lyrics is now available on YouTube — take a listen.

Written by Masha Fante

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