Lizzo rerecords ‘Grrrls’ following criticism over ableist lyric
Singer songwriter Lizzo has rereleased her new single “Grrrls” with a lyric change after it sparked heated discussions online about ableist language.
The song, which is set to appear on her upcoming album Special, received praise and excitement from many fans upon its release last Friday. Others, especially those within the disability community, expressed concern about her use of the word “spaz,” which many consider an ableist slur.
It originates from the term “spastic,” which has historically been used to describe people with spastic paralysis and cerebral palsy. Often used in a derogatory way to describe people in the disability community, “spaz” or “spaz out” has also been used to refer to someone losing physical control or simply acting “weird” or “uncool.” Webster’s New World College Dictionary defines it as “someone regarded as being clumsy, awkward, stupid, odd, etc.”
Lizzo released a statement on Monday acknowledging the “harmful word” in her song and announcing a rerecorded version of the song without the slur in it. “I never want to promote derogatory language. 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),” she wrote in her statement.