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Lizzo Is Changing The Lyrics To "Grrrls" After Facing Criticism For Using An Ableist Slur

"There’s no excuse for using an ableist insult in a song in 2022."

If you're a Lizzo fan, or if you just like listening to the radio, there's a good chance you've heard her new single "Grrrls."

Lizzo holding a flute as she smiles on the steps of the Met Gala

The song was released June 9, and it's the latest single from her forthcoming album, Special, which sees release July 15.

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Atlantic / Via

The song features the lyric "Do you see this shit / I'mma spaz," the last word of which is largely seen by the disabled community as an ableist slur.

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 + sad. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.

Twitter: @hannah_diviney

As NME points out, disability advocates have criticized the inclusion of the slur and, in some cases, have called for its removal.

I’m disappointed in @lizzo for using the word “sp@z” in her new song “Grrrls”. There’s no excuse for using an ableist insult in a song in 2022. As someone who champions women, plus size people and others whom society treats poorly, Lizzo preaches inclusivity and should do better.

Twitter: @AutisticCallum_

I’d like to add that this is not a hate tweet; it’s a call for a talented person in a position of power who knows how to use their platform for good to approach ableism with greater sensitivity and apologise for their mistake. I’m not here to cancel Lizzo, but to inspire change.

Twitter: @AutisticCallum_

I hope that somehow Lizzo sees the tweets I and many others have written and does the complete opposite to what Sia did. By that, I mean owning the mistake, apologising and amending the song. You can’t raise girls up by mocking disabled people (many of whom are girls).

Twitter: @AutisticCallum_

Everybody makes mistakes. What is important is how we handle them and grow from them. I can only speak for myself, but I’d love it if Lizzo apologised and use her platform to raise awareness of the issues disabled people face, then release a brilliant and *inclusive* album. ❤️

Twitter: @AutisticCallum_

Oh @lizzo A VERY influential figure, using the word sp@z in her new song. An offensive and derogatory term. As someone who’s written about the use of disability language, especially slang/slur words which have been used in schools, this is a huge step back. Please, remove it.

Twitter: @AutisticCallum_

Last night, Lizzo responded to the criticism with a statement in which she said that the lyrics to "Grrrls" have been changed.


"It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song "GRRRLS," she said. "Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language."

Twitter: @lizzo

"As a fat Black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words against me so I overstand 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."

Here's the new version:

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Atlantic / Via