Beyoncé should have listened to Lizzo!
Just weeks after the latter was slammed for using the derogatory word “s**z” in a song on her new album, Queen Bey is also being hit with the same backlash! As if this album drop wasn’t already controversial enough!! Ever since the new record, Renaissance, hit shelves and streamers on Friday, some fans have called out the pop star for including an “ableist” term in her song, Heated.
Near the end of the track, Beyoncé sings:
“Yada, yada, bom-bom, kah-kah
S**zzing on that ass, s**z on that ass
Fan me quick, girl, I need my glass”
In case you don’t know, s**z is a slang derivation of the term “spastic.” You can hear it used in the track (below)!
Yeah… so not only did she use the word, she used it TWICE!
Fans criticized the choice in droves over the weekend, including disability advocate Hannah Diviney, who has cerebral palsy. She noted the word is “ableist” in an opinion piece for The Guardian — weeks after going viral for calling out Lizzo for the same lyric. In the op-ed, she acknowledged:
“I thought we’d changed the music industry and started a global conversation about why ableist language – intentional or not – has no place in music. But I guess I was wrong, because now Beyoncé has gone and done exactly the same thing. In fact, she’s used the word ‘s**z’ twice in a new song Heated, a co-write with Canadian rapper Drake off her new album, Renaissance, which dropped on Friday.”
The writer went on to praise the influential artist’s career, but pointed out that her power in the industry adds more weight to her lyrics, concluding:
“But that doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language – language that gets used and ignored all too often. Language you can be sure I will never ignore, no matter who it comes from or what the circumstances are. It doesn’t excuse the fact that the teams of people involved in making this album somehow missed all the noise the disabled community made only six weeks ago when Lizzo did the same thing.”
A GREAT point! We could understand that the Ivy Park founder might be a little too busy to pay attention to all the latest buzz in the entertainment industry, but surely someone on her team must have noticed the Juice artist’s controversy!! The fact that no one bothered to switch up the 40-year-old’s lyrics before the initial release is a bummer.
Hannah also went on to address those of the Beyhive who have heard the song and not spoken out about the problematic language either, adding:
“It doesn’t explain how millions of people have already heard this album and yet aren’t raising the issue, except to make fun of or degrade the disabled community. I’m so tired. Disabled people deserve better. I don’t want to have this conversation again.”
Disability charity Sense also slammed the Grammy winner on social media, pointing out:
“Disappointing that another artist is using an offensive term in their song so soon after it was pointed out how hurtful the word is. Hoping Beyonce follows Lizzo’s example and changes the track. We need more education to improve awareness of disability.”
The outcry got so loud that the performer’s representative responded to the controversy in a statement to People on Monday! Insisting a change is coming, the statement read:
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”
Well, that’s good!
We’re glad B’s taking some action — but we also wish she would have owned up to her mistake in the same authentic and personal way Lizzo did (rather than in a one sentence reply through a rep). In June, when Lizzo released her album, Special, followers called her out for using “s**z” in her track GRRLS. She was quick to address the feedback, saying in a message on social media:
“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS.’ 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 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.”
— FOLLOW @YITTY (@lizzo) June 13, 2022
The Destiny’s Child alum’s new album is said to be part of a “three-act project,” so let’s just hope she double-checks all her lyrics before anything else is released! Thoughts??