Lizzo has removed an offensive term from her latest song following criticism. The American singing and rap superstar made the change to new release Grrrls saying she “never want(ed) to promote derogatory language.”
Grrrls, from the musician’s upcoming album Special, was released on Friday. In the opening verse she used the word ‘s***’ a derogatory term for spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy. In the US the word has different connotations where its definition is to ‘lose physical or emotional control.’
In her opening verse, the Grammy winner, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, sang: “Hold my bag, b****, hold my bag. Do you see this s***? Ima s***.” Hannah Diviney tweeted: “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. They added: “‘S***’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.”
This version has now been changed on streaming services and digital stores with the new lyric “hold me back.” Taking to social media Lizzo told fans: “It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song Grrrls.
In her statement she said: “Let me make one thing clear: 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 understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally).”
Lizzo said the change was “the result of me listening and taking action.” She added: “I’m proud to say there’s a newversion 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.” And the star was applauded for her response.
Hannah said about the change: “I’m going to cry Thank you so much for hearing us Lizzo and for understanding that this was only ever meant gently and being open to learning, it honestly means the world . You’re a real true ally.”
Another fan said: “And this is how you apologize.” @hrrgrrl said: “That’s it guys, that’s all we ask from famous people, to when they make mistakes they own it, apollogy, grow and learn with that. We Love you Lizzo.” And @LitsaDremousis told her: “Thanks so much, Lizzo. I’m disabled and I appreciate your willingness to listen and to change the lyric. Continued love and respect.”