Lizzo went to social media on Monday to announce the release of an updated version of her single “GRRRLS” to remove an ableist slur included in the original song.
“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS,’” she wrote in a Twitter post. “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,)” she continued. “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.”
According to NBCNews, the Grammy Award-winning artist released the highly anticipated single last Friday, and it was met with criticism from disability advocates on social media. The song contained the lyrics: “Hold my bag, b***h, hold my bag Do you see this s**t? I’ma sp*z.”
One user on Twitter suffering from Cerebral Palsy chastised Lizzo for the usage of “sp*z.”
“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,” she wrote. “‘Sp*z’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.”
Along with this tweet, several other people voiced their disappointment over the song lyric. After Lizzo stated that she would remove the ableist slur from “GRRRLS,” many users on social media praised her for willingness to grow and learn, as well as her acceptance of accountability.
Lizzo’s upcoming album Special is slated for release on July 15.