Beyonce to remove ‘deeply offensive’ lyric from song on new album after backlash

Beyonce will change the lyrics of her new song Heated following a backlash from fans and a UK disability charity. The singer’s representatives have confirmed that a ‘deeply offensive’ term, which they say was “not used intentionally in a harmful manner”, will be replaced.

The song, featured on the star’s highly-anticipated seventh studio album, Renaissance, was co-written by Canadian rapper Drake.

The change comes after people pointed out that a word used twice towards the end of the song is an ableist slur. The term is sometimes used to refer to individuals with cerebral palsy, a condition which affects sufferers’ muscle co-ordination.

READ MORE: Beyoncé slammed by disability charity over lyric used in new album

In a statement, a spokesperson for Beyonce said: “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful manner, will be replaced in the lyrics.”

Beyonce’s decision to replace the offensive term comes after disability equality charity Scope spoke out against her use of the word. The charity has previously criticised singer Lizzo for using the word, which also resulted in a lyric change.

Lizzo re-released her song Grrrls following the change and issued a statement apologising for the original lyrics. The pop superstar, who is known for promoting body positivity and self-love in her music, said she “never want(s) to promote derogatory language” and she is “dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world”.

In a statement today, Scope’s media manager Warren Kirwan said: “It’s appalling that one of the world’s biggest stars [Beyonce] has chosen to include this deeply-offensive term. Just weeks ago, Lizzo received a huge backlash from fans who felt hurt and let down after she used the same abhorrent language.”

He added: “Words matter because they reinforce the negative attitudes disabled people face every day and which impact on every aspect of disabled people’s lives. Beyonce has long been a champion of inclusivity and equality, so we’d urge her to remove this offensive lyric.”

The charity has now responded to the news that the offensive word will be removed from the song. Mr Kirwan said: “It’s good Beyonce has acted so swiftly after disabled people yet again called out this thoughtless lyric. There’s a feeling of deja vu as it’s just a few weeks since Lizzo also had to re-release a song after featuring the same offensive language.

“We hope this is the last time we see this kind of thing from anyone, let alone musicians with massive global influence. Too often offensive language used to refer to disabled people is seen as ‘harmless’. But many of the UK’s 14 million disabled people encounter negative attitudes every day. Everyone has a role to play by speaking out when they hear offensive language being used to refer to disabled people.”

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