Beyonce to remove offensive lyric after disabled community outcry but fails to apologise

Australian disability campaigner Hannah Diviney described the word as a 'slap in the face'

Beyonce has been criticised over lyrics on her new album 'Renaissance'. AFP
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Beyonce will remove a derogatory term for disabled people from her new song Heated, a representative said on Monday, after its use was condemned as offensive by campaigners.

The US pop megastar will rerecord the track from her latest album Renaissance.

"The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced," a representative for Beyonce said.

Co-written with Canadian rapper Drake, the dance track appears to use the slur colloquially to describe temporarily losing control or acting erratically.

But disability campaigners noted that the word is derived from the term spastic diplegia.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, spasticity is a movement disorder involving stiff muscles and awkward movement, suffered by 80 per cent of people with cerebral palsy.

In June, US singer Lizzo re-recorded her song Grrrls to remove the same word after complaints that it was derogatory.

Australian disability campaigner Hannah Diviney said the inclusion of the word by Beyonce "feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community and the progress we tried to make with Lizzo."

"Guess I'll just keep telling the whole industry to 'do better' until ableist slurs disappear from music," she tweeted.

Following the announcement that Beyonce is to remove the word from Heated, Diviney wrote, "Beyonce has heard and recognised the disabled community's call to remove ableist language from her music is an incredible feeling. Where she leads, the music industry follows."

Beyonce's eagerly anticipated seventh solo studio album Renaissance was released on Friday, drawing mainly positive reviews with its nods to disco and electronic dance.

Other collaborators on the album, which was leaked online in the days prior to its official release, include Nile Rodgers, Skrillex, Nigerian singer Tems, Grace Jones, Pharrell and Beyonce's rap mogul husband Jay-Z.

In an Instagram post published soon after its release, Beyonce said creating the album "allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world.

"My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment," she wrote.

"A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom."

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Updated: August 04, 2022, 10:06 AM
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