Beyonce to remove offensive lyric after disabled community outcry

A representative for Beyonce announced on Monday that the singer will take out a term that is harmful to disabled people from her new song, “Heated,” after it was criticized by activists.

The song from her most recent album “Renaissance” in which she first sung the phrases “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass” will be redone by the US pop megastar.

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“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a spokesperson for Beyonce told AFP via email.

The dance music, which was co-written with Canadian rapper Drake, seems to employ the word “spaz” in the slang sense of momentarily losing control or acting erratically. But advocates for people with disabilities pointed out that the word comes from “spastic.”

80 percent of patients with cerebral palsy experience spasticity, a movement problem characterized by rigid muscles and unnatural movement, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In response to criticism that the title in her song “Grrls” was offensive, US artist Lizzo re-recorded the song in June.

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 & 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.

The widely awaited “Renaissance,” Beyonce’s seventh solo studio album, was released on Friday and received largely favorable reviews for its homages to disco and electronic dance.

The album also has contributions from Nile Rodgers, Skrillex, Nigerian singer Tems, Grace Jones, Pharrell, and Beyonce’s rap mogul husband Jay-Z. The album leaked online days before it was officially released.

Beyonce claimed that making the album “gave me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the globe” in an Instagram post that was released shortly after the album’s release.

“My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment. A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom,” she wrote.

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Mridha Shihab Mahmud is a writer, content editor and photojournalist. He works as a staff reporter at News Hour. He is also involved in humanitarian works through a trust called Safety Assistance For Emergencies (SAFE). Mridha also works as film director. His passion is photography. He is the chief respondent person in Mymensingh Film & Photography Society. Besides professional attachment, he loves graphics designing, painting, digital art and social networking.
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