American superstar Beyonce has been forced to re-record a song from her latest album after facing heavy criticism on social media for her use of a slang word considered offensive by people with disabilities.
It’s a line from Friday’s Renaissance album title, “Heated,” that has sparked the ire of people with motor disabilities: “Queen” Beyonce sings “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.”
The term ‘spaz’ in English, derived from the adjective ‘spastic’ (‘spastic’), can be used to poke fun at people with cerebral palsy and can be loosely associated with the terms ‘cretin’, ‘disturbed’ or even ‘ clumsy”.
In the United States, the word “spaz” is rare and seems more likely to describe someone considered “out of control” or acting “out of control.”
In a bid to quell the start of a social media fire, Beyonce will re-record the offending song by “replacing” the term “spaz,” a rep for the artist confirmed to AFP, assuring in an email that “the word was not used intentionally to hurt”.
The track “Heated” was written in collaboration with Canadian rapper Drake.
Exactly the same story happened to American singer Lizzo in June, who had to re-record her track “Grrrls” to remove the same slang term “Spaz.”
For Australian activist Hannah Diviney, who took to Twitter, Beyonce’s use of the term “feels like a slap in the face to me, to the community of people with disabilities, and to the advances made with Lizzo.” She vowed to “keep telling the entire music industry to do better until the insults to ‘able people’ go out of music”.
Musical event of the summer, Beyoncé released her seventh solo album on Friday. Six years after the classic “Lemonade,” admirers have found their “Queen B” in full “Renaissance,” the title of this 16-track album intended for a world beginning to party again after the pandemic.
“Making this album allowed me to dream and escape at a scary time for the world. It allowed me to feel free and adventurous at a time when little was happening,” Beyoncé, now 41, wrote to her 270 million Instagram followers.