Lizzo finds herself in hot water over ableist lyrics in new single "Grrrls"

She’s released a statement apologizing, releasing new lyrics.
June 14, 2022 4:07 p.m. EST
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“Good As Hell” hitmaker Lizzo has offended the disabled community in her latest single “Grrrls,” but true to form, the singer, rapper, and flautist has listened to how her lyrics have harmed, and she’s taking action to do better.

"Grrrls," which dropped on June 9, is the latest single from her forthcoming album, Special, and the lyrics included a word that is considered an ableist slur among the disabled community -- specifically often used to be derrogatory toward people with Cerebral Palsy.

In the first verse, many stans were shocked when they heard the lyrics, "Do you see this s***? / I'mma sp*z."

Australian disability advocate Hannah Diviney was one of many people upset with Lizzo's lyrical content and took to Twitter to share her feelings. 

"Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad," she wrote, adding, "'Spaz' doesn't mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better..”

Many other fans of the “Truth Hurts” rapper also took to Twitter to share their disappointment.

The fans, however, were quick to point out that they’re not interested in “canceling” Lizzo, who has long been an advocate for the Black community, as well as women, the LGBTQ+ community, and people with different body shapes and sizes.

Luckily, the “Juice” singer was listening, and she made sure to post to all her social media channels that she has changed the lyrics. She also apologized for not realizing her error.

"It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song 'GRRRLS.' Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language," the three-time Grammy winner wrote. 

"As a fat black woman in America, I've had many hateful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case unintentionally). I'm proud to say there's a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change."

She ended her statement with, “This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”

Now the lyrics read as “Do you see this s***? Hold me back.” 

Fans were over the moon with the news, with Diviney quote-tweeting Lizzo’s statement, and exclaiming, “I’m going to cry 😭 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.”

When reached for comment by The Washington Post, Diviney added how there’s still so much work to do in terms of disability inclusion, but she’s glad the conversation with the “About Damn Time” singer went the way that it did.

“To see her respond to that by actively listening instead of getting defensive or doubling down is a mark of how genuine she is as an ally and how important the space she occupies in the music industry is,” Diviney told the outlet.

“We still have a long way to go in making things better for people with disabilities everywhere, but this honestly gives me hope that the big changes are within reach,” she said.

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