Beyoncé to re-record part of album following major backlash over lyrics

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Photo credit: Kevin Mazur - Getty Images
Photo credit: Kevin Mazur - Getty Images

Last week saw Beyoncé drop her seventh studio album, Renaissance, much to the delight of her millions of fans. However, her team have now confirmed that part of the album will be re-recorded after it sparked backlash for containing a lyric that can be viewed as demeaning to those with a disability, in particular spastic cerebral palsy. The condition can impact muscle control and cause stiff and/or jerky movements.

In the track Heated, one line sees the star sing "Sp*zzin' on that ass, sp*z on that ass" – a lyric that has since been called out by disability charity, Scope (which campaigns to educate the public and rid the world of negative attitudes towards those who are disabled).

Scope's Media Manager, Warren Kirwan, said of the lyric: "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. Thankfully she did the right thing and re-recorded the song. It's hard to believe that could have gone unnoticed by Beyoncé's team.

"Words matter because they reinforce the negative attitudes disabled people face every day, and which impact on every aspect of disabled people's lives. Beyoncé has long been a champion of inclusivity and equality, so we'd urge her to remove this offensive lyric."

Beyoncé's team have since told the press that the song will be re-worked to have that lyric removed, however they did not offer up a timeframe as to when that might be, or an apology for any offence caused – even if unintentionally. "The word, not used intentionally in a harmful manner, will be replaced in the lyrics," they stated.

As referenced in Scope's statement, fellow singer Lizzo recently faced backlash from the disabled community for using the same word in her song, Grrls, and promptly responded with an apology and new recording on the track.

In a statement on Instagram, Lizzo wrote, "Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat Black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I overstand [sic] 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. 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."

Let's hope Beyoncé quickly follows suit and corrects her mistake.

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