Lizzo has responded to backlash over the use of an ableist slur in her new track

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Photo credit: Arturo Holmes/MG22 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Arturo Holmes/MG22 - Getty Images

Musician Lizzo took to Instagram yesterday to apologise for any offence caused, after fans called her out over the use of an ableist slur in her new song, Grrrls.

"I’m disappointed in @lizzo for using the word 'sp@z' in her new song 'Grrrls'," one person wrote on Twitter. "There’s no excuse for using an ableist insult in a song in 2022. As someone who champions women, plus size people and others whom society treats poorly, Lizzo preaches inclusivity and should do better."

"Really disappointed to see @lizzo using the ableist slur sp*z in one of her songs. Even if she didn't know the meaning there are 9 other writers and a record label. They knew," another person said on social media, adding: "Goes to show how everyday ableism and discrimination against disabled people isn't even considered."

As the conversation continued, some people pointed out that Lizzo likely meant no harm and made an honest mistake, with someone saying: "If Lizzo discovers our disappointment, I bet she’ll be upset that we’re upset, apologise, amend the song and then do something awesome for the disabled community. Lizzo's a class act. This isn’t a hate campaign, it’s a small conversation aiming for mutual love and respect."

And that's exactly what she did, sharing a heartfelt message with her fans to prove she's listening to what they have to say. "Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language," she wrote in an Instagram post. "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.)"

She continued, "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."

Her apology was well received by fans, who flocked to the comments section to praise her for rectifying the mistake. "Showing the world it really is that easy to simply listen and make the change. I love you," one follower said in response to her post, with another commenting: "Thank you, as a disabled person I so appreciate you listening and making the change."

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