Lizzo Removes ‘Ableist Slur’ From New Song Following Backlash

Lizzo has made a language change to the new single 'Grrrls' on her fourth studio album.
Credit: @lizzobeeating/Instagram

Lizzo, whose real name is Melissa Viviane Jefferson, has removed an ‘ableist slur’ from her new song following a backlash. 

Lizzo, 34, is a singer and rapper who has won three Grammy awards and has dropped four studio albums.

Her latest album ‘Special’ features the promotional track ‘Grrrls’.

It’s facing a backlash on social media for including the derogatory term for spastic diplegia – which is a form of cerebral palsy.

The song’s original lyrics read (via NME): Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/Do you see this shit? I’mma s***.”

Find out more about the language change in Lizzo’s new song ‘Grrrls’ here…

The lyric has now been changed to: “Do you see this s***? Hold me back.”

Following the criticism, Lizzo has apologised for ‘unintentionally’ offending people.

On Twitter, the ‘About Damn Time’ rapper said she doesn’t want to ‘promote’ any ‘harmful’ words.

Lizzo penned: “It has 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.

“As a fat Black woman in America, I have had many hurtful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally, or in my case, unintentionally).”

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The singer went on to say that she’s taken ‘action’ and released a new version of ‘Grrrls’, adding: “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.”

‘Grrrls’ has yet to be made available as a physical purchase, so the lyric change has only had to be made on streaming services.

Before Lizzo made the lyric change, her followers took to Twitter and shared their thoughts on the ‘ableist slur’.

Lizzo has made a language change to her single ‘Grrrls’. Credit: @lizzobeeating/Instagram

One tweeted: “The thing is, Lizzo has plenty of people around her that know that this is a bad word to use, she must have been told and decided to use it anyway.

“That’s very sad.”

“Hey @lizzo, my disability cerebral palsy is literally classified as spastic diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs),” a second wrote.

“Your new song makes me pretty angry and sad. ‘S***’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.”

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Pitching in, a third commented: “It saddens me that no one in her team thought this was problematic for a global artist.

“We need to be more aware of the impact of our language choices (whether it impacts us directly or not). However, as someone with spastic CP too, I hope this is a case of know better, do better.”

Defending Lizzo, another penned: “I have CP and love all the ‘slurs’. It’s only offensive if you let it offend you. Embrace the jokes and lighten up. It’s not that serious.”

“I’m going to be honest here, this is something familiar to those ‘in the know’, so people who have CP have known forever that it’s not okay to say. However, it doesn’t surprise me that Lizzo’s team doesn’t,” another added.

“I’m 38 and never heard of it until this. We’ll do better but show grace.”

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Written by Aimee Walker

Aimee is a senior content editor at IGV who specialises in finding the best original stories, trending topics and entertainment news. She graduated from Birmingham City University with a degree in Media and Communications.