Beyoncé Is Changing Ableist ‘Renaissance’ Song Lyric Following Social Media Backlash

Online criticism led to Beyoncé following in Lizzo’s footsteps by editing her lyrics to “Heated”

Beyonce Renaissance Lyrics
Beyoncé to remove song lyric from "Renaissance." (Getty Images)

Along with the critical acclaim that has followed Beyoncé’s most recent studio album “Renaissance,” which dropped Friday, there is now a touch of controversy, and a song lyric in “Heated” is being altered following social media backlash.

In the song, Beyoncé sings “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.” Some have taken offense to the use of the word “spazz,” as in the medical field, “spastic” is a disability in which people suffer involuntary muscle spasms. The song line drew criticism for its perceived ableist undertones from certain listeners on social media and was the source of a recent essay in The Guardian. It has led to the rewriting of the song lyric.

“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” Beyoncé’s team said in a statement.

A similar situation played out with musical artist Lizzo last month after she used the term in her song “Grrrls.”

“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song ‘GRRRLS,’” the singer wrote in a statement posted on her verified Instagram account in June. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hateful words used against me so I understand 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.”

In addition to the ableist backlash, “Renaissance” was also leaked online two days before it was meant to be officially released. It was then criticized by singer Kelis, who claimed in a series of Instagram posts that Beyoncé sampled her 2003 song “Milkshake” without proper notification or credit.

The news was first confirmed by Insider.