Beyoncé has updated a controversial lyric in her song ‘Heated’ after the track was criticised for including an ableist slur. The line in question is, “Spazzin’ on that ass, spaz on that ass”, with “spaz” having long been considered a derogatory term for those with various disabilities, including cerebral palsy.
In a statement released by a representative from Beyoncé, it was confirmed that the use of the line was not ill-intentioned, though the impact of its use has not been downplayed. “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” the statement read.
Beyoncé – ‘Heated’
The song has already been altered on streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music, in addition to YouTube. The new lyric is, “Blastin’ on that ass, blast on that ass.”
The controversy comes a couple of months after a near-identical incident involving Lizzo, whose song ‘Grrrls’ included the line “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / Do you see this shit? I’ma spaz”. The line was later changed to “Do you see this shit? Hold me back.”
“Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” Lizzo said in a statement at the time. “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).”
This isn’t the first controversy to emerge from Beyoncé’s new album, Renaissance, with Kelis claiming that ‘Energy’ used an uncleared sample of ‘Milkshake’ in its production. “It’s not a collab it’s theft,” Kelis said of the incident.