Monica Lewinsky is joining a chorus of Beyoncé fans asking Queen Bey to change the lyrics to her song, but for two entirely different reasons. The anti-bullying activist and frequent orator at TedTalks has taken to Twitter to ask for a slight tweak to an old song.
In Beyoncé's 2013 song "Partition," Queen Bey sings, "He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse / He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown," and for nine years, Lewinsky has not been happy. Now she’s asking for justice.
Lewinsky took to Twitter to quote-tweet a Variety article that explains why fans want Beyoncé to change the lyrics to her new song “Heated,” and she added the caption, "Uhmm, while we're at it... #Partition."
Lewinsky’s critique is nothing new, she has complained about this lyric before. In a 2014 essay for Vanity Fair, Lewinsky writes that to this day, nearly 25 years after her Bill Clinton scandal, her name is still used in popular music as a euphemism for sex.
"Miley Cyrus references me in her twerking stage act, Eminem raps about me, and Beyoncé's latest hit gives me a shout-out," Lewinsky wrote, continuing, "Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we're verbing, I think you meant 'Bill Clinton'd all on my gown,' not 'Monica Lewinsky'd.'"
Lewinsky has previously joked about the connotations associated with her name, tweeting in 2018 to someone who didn’t recognize her, “I’m the chick from over 125 rap songs.”
For Queen Bey’s part, she’s been on the receiving end of some backlash for one of the lyrics in her Renaissance album lately. After the July 29th release, some fans noted that the song "Heated" includes a word known as an ableist slur. The word, which mocks involuntary muscle movements in those with some physical disabilities, was also included in Lizzo's latest album Special. Lizzo removed the word after fan outcry and Beyoncé has done the same.
Hannah Diviney tweeted, “So @Beyonce used the word 'sp*z' in her new song Heated. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community & the progress we tried to make with Lizzo.”
Back in June, Diviney brought to Lizzo’s attention that her use of the same slur in her song “Grrrls” was inappropriate and hurtful. Lizzo immediately took action and changed the lyric to her song so the slur no longer appeared, and issued an apology explaining that she is always willing to listen when she’s made a mistake so she can do better.
Diviney’s Bey tweet continued, “Guess I'll just keep telling the whole industry to 'do better' until ableist slurs disappear from music.”
Diviney also penned an op-ed for The Guardian, where she opined, “Beyoncé’s commitment to storytelling musically and visually is unparalleled, as is her power to have the world paying attention to the narratives, struggles and nuanced lived experience of being a Black woman… But that doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language.”
Like Lizzo, Queen Bey listened to the criticism and Variety reports that the lyrics will henceforth be altered to remove the slur. The lyric will now read, “Blastin’ on that ass, blast on that ass.”
Her team also issued a statement that read, “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”
However, Bey’s new album Renaissance seems to come loaded with other controversies. Singer Kelis blasted Beyonce’s use of a sample of Kelis’s 2003 song “Milkshake,” saying per Page Six, “It’s not a collab it’s theft.” The outlet reports that Beyoncé has since removed the “Milkshake” sample, despite not being contractually obligated to credit Kelis as she was not a songwriter on the track.
As for Lewinsky, only time will tell if she will get her wish, nine years later.