Lizzo Says She Will Remove ‘Harmful Word’ From ‘GRRRLS’ Lyrics

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Lizzo has released another version of “GRRRLS” that removes a lyric that was criticized by members of the disability community as an ableist slur. “It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLs,’” Lizzo wrote in a June 13 statement posted to Instagram and Twitter. “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).”

In the original track, released June 10, she sang, “I’m a spaz / I’m about to knock somebody out.” In the updated version of “GRRRLS,” the lyrics are now “Hold me back / I’m about to knock somebody out.” Spasticity is a medical condition in which people lose control over muscle movement, sometimes resulting in severely painful muscle spasms. Disability advocate Hannah Diviney, who has a form of cerebral palsy classified as spastic diplegia, was among those who took to social media to tag Lizzo and criticize the initial lyric. “Your new song makes me pretty angry + sad,” Diviney tweeted. “‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.” After Lizzo announced that she would remove the lyric, Diviney responded, “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 off of Lizzo’s upcoming album, Special, out July 15. In her statement, the “About Damn Time” singer said that the lyric change is the result of her “listening and taking action,” adding that she is “dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”

Lizzo Says She’ll Remove ‘Harmful Word’ From ‘GRRRLS’ Lyrics