Her track went viral after members of the disabled community claimed she used an offensive word. She vows to change the lyrics.
It’s a heavy rollout season for Lizzo now that the Pop star is readying the release of her forthcoming album, Special. Her single “About Damn Time” has stayed on the charts thanks to its viral movement, and last week, Lizzo returned with her new track “GRRRLS” which was quickly under heavy rotation. On the track, Lizzo dropped a line that said “I’mma spaz,” as in get wild, go crazy, or lose it. However, she was quickly accused of being an ableist because unbeknownst to her, “spaz” in select circles is a derogatory term for those who are disabled.
Soon, the internet went wild defaming Lizzo as accusations of insensitivity ran rampant, and after a few days of controversy, she returned to offer an apology for her lyrics.
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“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS,’” she wrote. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had money hurtful words used 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 lyrics change.”
“This is the result of me listening and taking action,” Lizzo continued. “As an influential artist I am dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world. Xoxo, Lizzo.”
The singer-rapper was praised for how she handled the controversy, however, there has been backlash on all fronts about this call-out. Some have argued that Lizzo’s understanding of the word “spaz” is rooted in AAVE, or African American Vernacular English, and in Black culture, it has long been established to mean something completely different. Still, the singer wanted to be sensitive to those who were offended.
We’ll let you take a look at Lizzo’s apology and a few mixed reactions below.