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Lizzo changes ableist lyric in "Grrrls" following backlash

14 June 2022, 10:03 | Written by Cerys Kenneally

Lizzo has shared a statement announcing that her latest single "Grrrls" has had a "lyric change" after receiving backlash for using an ableist slur.

Last Friday (10 June) Lizzo released her second Special album single "Grrrls". The Max Martin, Benny Blanco, Pop Wansel, ILYA and Blake Slatkin-produced song has seen been criticised online, with some users highlighting an "ableist slur" in the lyrics.

Hannah Diviney wrote on Twitter, "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. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better."

Following the online criticism, Lizzo shared a statement last night (13 June) announcing a "lyric change" in the song. She wrote, "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 so many hurtful words used against me so I overstand [sic] the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally)," Lizzo continued. "I'm proud to say there's a new version of "Grrrls" with a lyric change."

Lizzo added, "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."

Following Lizzo's statement, Diviney wrote, "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."

"Grrrls" is the second single to be lifted from Lizzo's upcoming album Special following April's "About Damn Time". Her Special album will follow 2019's Cuz I Love You. In April she also debuted the album title-track on Saturday Night Live.

"Grrrls" is out now. Lizzo's Special album will be released 15 July via Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic Records, and is available to pre-order now.
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