Lizzo re-uploads song after internet points out ableist slur

Lizzo has uploaded an updated version of her new track “GRRRLS” after people with a disability and their allies pointed out a lyric in it was an ableist slur.

The Grammy-award-winning artist released the song on Friday. It featured a line referencing the word “spaz”.

Disability advocate and writer Hannah Diviney has Cerebral Palsy. She said in a Tweet posted on June 12th tagging Lizzo that the word is an ableist slur used against people with her disability.

“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 [and] sad. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.”

Other people with disabilities and their allies asked Lizzo to remove the word from her new song.

Another fan who identifies as an Indigenous Australian with autism and a chronic illness said the word has a different meaning in African American Vernacular English (AAVE). They said it didn’t justify Lizzo’s use of the word in her song but it may have explained why she used it.

Lizzo then said in a Notes app apology on her Insta she and her team uploaded a new version of “GRRRLS” with the lyric removed. Queen of listening and taking accountability.

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

“As a fat Black woman in America, I’ve had many hurtful words used against me so I overstated 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. This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world. Xoxo, Lizzo.”

If only other celebs would take as action as immediately and listen. In semi-related news, a HBO documentary on the Grammy-award-winning singer is coming this fall.