Lizzo has addressed the controversy surrounding her new single ‘Grrrls’, revealing that she’s made a new version of the track.
‘Grrrls’ was released last week but no sooner had Lizzo dropped the single than the backlash began. Despite being a track meant to empower women, a lot of fans noted the use of an ableist slur: verse one of the track begins with the lyrics, “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/Do you see this shit? I’ma sp*zz [sic]”.
“So Lizzo just released a song that contains an ableist slur,” TikTok creator ‘itsabigaillea’ said in a video about the use of the slur. “Words like this are so harmful and hurtful and offensive to the disabled community.”
It was more of the same on Twitter. “There’s no excuse for using an ableist insult in a song in 2022,” one fan wrote. “As someone who champions women, plus size people and others whom society treats poorly, Lizzo preaches inclusivity and should do better.”
“It doesn’t matter if Lizzo knew the ableist connotations of the word sp*z, it is still problematic,” wrote another. “So many people will sing this song and integrate the word into their day to day language.”
Lizzo issues statement announcing the release of a new version of “GRRRLS” with lyric change after previous lyric was deemed ableist:
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“As an influential artist I'm dedicated to being part of the change I've been waiting to see in the world.” pic.twitter.com/ydk1Xee5fA
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) June 13, 2022
Just a few days later, Lizzo has recognised the valid criticism and moved to correct the situation. The pop star took to social media on Tuesday, June 14th to reveal the new version of the track, complete with a lyric change.
“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS’. Le me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” she wrote, before relating the situation to her own life.
“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).”
Lizzo then revealed that she’s reworked the lyrics of the track. “This is the result of me listening and taking action,” she added. “As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”
On Genius, the lyrics have indeed been changed: “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / Do you see this shit? Hold me back”, the lyrics now say.
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