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Beyoncé will change the lyrics of one of the songs above Renaissance Order to remove a confusing and possible phrase.
On the album’s 11th track, “Heated”, which features Beyoncé and Drake among its writers, is the word “spaz”, a term disability activists have called a madman.
Beyoncé’s publicist told NPR via email that the lyrics will be changed.
“The word, not intentionally used in a harmful way, will be substituted,” the journalist said.
This is not the first time an artist has been criticized for using the term.
In June, Lizzo changed the lyrics in one of her songs after receiving similar criticism. She posted a statement on social media explaining the reason for the change in lyrics and apologizing to the communities she offended.
Disability advocate Hannah Diviney, who also called out Lizzo for using the word, wrote an opinion piece for Guardians expressed her frustration with Beyoncé for using the lyrics.
“I think we changed the music industry and started a global conversation about why viable language – on purpose or not – has no place in music,” Diviney wrote. .
While saying it’s important that people take responsibility for their actions, some have noted the higher standard that Black women face compared to other artists. Black disability activist Vilissa Thompson previously told NPR How white artists use helpful language don’t get the same visual response as black artists.
“Grace and room for correction are often not offered [to Black people]. The double standard of inconsistent responses is profound. They don’t trust Black people to do the right thing,” Thompson said.
The word “spaz” comes from the term “spasticity”, which is used to refer to people with spastic paralysis or cerebral palsy. The word has evolved into a derogatory term for people with disabilities and is used to describe “weird” or “brutal” behavior that often involves physical movement.
Thompson says that the meaning and context of words change over time, and it’s important to be open to an offensive term.
“We have a responsibility to not only open up, but update and improve the way we communicate with each other, so that our words are used purposefully, so they don’t cause harm,” Thompson said. unintentional harm,” Thompson said.