Lizzo Changes Ableist Lyrics After Backlash: What to Know

Lizzo's new single 'Grrrls' upsets fans for featuring an ableist slur. Here's how the artist handled the situation.

2 min read
Hindi Female

Famous Grammy-winning singer and rapper Lizzo released her new single on Friday, 10 June 2022 titled 'Grrrls'.

What surprised the audience, however, were the lyrics of the song that contained an ableist slur.

Usually a strong advocate of inclusivity, it came as a shock to many of her fans of the singer when the song used the term 'spaz' to symbolise her losing control.

'Spaz' is a derogatory term, referring to Spastic Diplegia, a form of Cerebral Palsy that affects the motor administration of legs.

After receiving intense backlash over Twitter, Lizzo took to her social media accounts to apologise, and released an updated version of the single with 'Hold me back' as a replacement for the word.


One Twitter user and disability advocate, Hannah Diviney, expressed her dissapointment with the artist, saying, 'I felt uncomfortable'...'your song makes me pretty angry and sad.'

"As a fat, black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I am aware of the power words can have,"responded Lizzo, in a Twitter statement.

Taking responsibility for the error, Lizzo said ''as an influential artist, I'm dedicated to be a part of the change I want to see in the world. XOXO," in the Tweet.

A lot of artists in the past have been called out for probelamtic lyrics and some have defended, while others apologised. Lizzo owing up to her mistake on a public platform, pleased her audience and most accepted her apology, hailing her as a 'queen' again.

Ms Diviney came back on record to say that she was astonished by Lizzo's rapid reversal and her taking action instead of acting defensive. She was glad that this became a teaching moment for the world, most people weren't even aware this was an ableist (meaning it is offensive to the disabled people) term.

The word was commonly used earlier in the UK to discriminate and humiliate members of the disabled community and Lizzo, who is an American might not have known of its history and implications.

While that is still unclear, what is important is that an artist after being called out, came forward, took responsibility and corrected the error.

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Topics:  Cerebral Palsy   Lizzo 

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