Beyoncé vows to remove ableist slur from new Renaissance song after backlash

1 August 2022, 17:49

Beyoncé has vowed to remove the derogatory lyric from her new song Heated.
Beyoncé has vowed to remove the derogatory lyric from her new song Heated. Picture: Alamy

By Sophie Barnett

Beyoncé has vowed to remove an ableist slur from her new album Renaissance following backlash from charities over the "deeply offensive" lyric.

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Heated, which the American singer-songwriter collaborated on with Drake, originally included what was described as an "ableist slur" for the condition spastic cerebral palsy, which affects muscle co-ordination.

The 40-year-old had the lyrics 's**z on that ass' in her new song, which was released last week as part of her highly-anticipated album Renaissance.

Her inclusion of the term prompted backlash from some fans and a UK disability charity, who urged the global singer to "remove this offensive lyric".

Representatives for the mother-of-three confirmed the word, which was "not used intentionally in a harmful manner", will be replaced.

"The word, not used intentionally in a harmful manner, will be replaced in the lyrics," a spokesperson said.

Read more: Pop star Lizzo changes derogatory lyric after backlash against "ableist slur"

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Beyoncé has vowed to remove the derogatory lyric.
Beyoncé has vowed to remove the derogatory lyric. Picture: Alamy

Disability equality charity Scope had described the mega star's use of the "deeply offensive term" as "appalling", while disability advocate Hannah Diviney said the singer's status as one of the most famous musicians in the world did not "excuse her use of ableist language".

Scope spoke out against Beyoncé's use of the word, less than a month after it did the same for American singer-songwriter Lizzo.

The charity's media manager Warren Kirwan said: "It's appalling that one of the world's biggest stars has chosen to include this deeply-offensive term.

"Just weeks ago, Lizzo received a huge backlash from fans who felt hurt and let down after she used the same abhorrent language."

He added: "Words matter because they reinforce the negative attitudes disabled people face every day and which impact on every aspect of disabled people's lives.

"Beyonce has long been a champion of inclusivity and equality, so we'd urge her to remove this offensive lyric."

Lizzo re-released her song Grrrls with a "lyric change" and issued a statement apologising after facing criticism for her use of the same word.

The pop superstar, who is known for promoting body positivity and self-love in her music, said she "never want(s) to promote derogatory language" and she is "dedicated to being part of the change I've been waiting to see in the world".