Pop singer Beyonce will remove some lyrics from the song “Heated,” which is featured on her seventh studio album “Renaissance.”
Following the July 29 release of the album, Beyonce began receiving backlash over offensive lyrics that used the word “spaz.” In the field of medicine, “spastic” describes a disability that makes it difficult to control muscles, especially in the legs and arms.
In one of the verses in “Heated,” Beyonce uses the words “spaz” and “spazzin’.” Some critics and social media users deemed the word offensive and accused Beyonce of being an ableist.
In an essay published to the Guardian, writer Hannah Diviney criticized Beyonce’s lyrics.
“Beyonce’s commitment to storytelling musically and visually is unparalleled, as is her power to have the world paying attention to the narratives, struggles, and nuanced lived experience of being a Black woman… But that doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language,” Diviney wrote.
Amid the backlash, Beyonce’s team revealed she would be changing the lyrics. “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” the statement read.
The move comes after Lizzo made a similar choice. In the song “Grrrls” from her 2022 album “Special,” Lizzo sang the lyrics: “I’m a spaz.”
Following backlash over the word, she changed the lyrics to “Hold me back.” The singer also apologized for her use of the word.
“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,” Lizzo said in a statement at the time.
“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).”
“Renaissance,” which is intended to be a “three-act project,” is available to stream and purchase.