“This feels like a slap in the face to me, people with disabilities and the progress we were trying to make with Lizzo,” activist Hannah Diviney wrote on Twitter.
Fans were disappointed to find that the lyrics “Spazzin’ on that ass, spaz on that ass” were part of the usually flawless pop queen Beyoncé’s song “HEATED.” The song is on his brand new album ‘RENAISSANCE’ which was released on July 29th. Fans accuse the star of being valid, discriminatory, marginalizing or stigmatizing people with disabilities.
british vs american
‘Spaz’ comes from the English ‘spastic’, a term considered offensive, especially in the UK. Medically, “spasticity” refers to the involuntary contraction of muscles, a symptom of neurological disorders such as ALS or MS. But in the UK, ‘spaz’ is also used as a slur, to refer to someone who is ‘stupid’. It is therefore inappropriate for the British to use this term for several years now.
It’s different in the United States, where Beyoncé is from. There, the word has a much less negative connotation. Yet most American organizations working for people with disabilities have also advised against the word.
Fans are therefore asking for the song to be re-released, without the term in it. “Aren’t we learning anything then?” wrote someone disappointed on Twitter.
“I have been a fan of Beyoncé for many years and I am EXTREMELY disappointed and disgusted by the use of this validist term on her new album”, it sounds elsewhere.
Beyoncé has yet to respond to the critics.
Beyoncé is not the first artist to be called upon to report on this word. The term also appeared on Lizzo’s new single “Grrrls” in June. After much criticism, the singer apologized and released a new version of the single. “As an influential artist, I can’t wait to be a part of the change I want to see in the world,” she wrote on Instagram at the time.
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