Lizzo changes lyrics to new song “Grrrls” after backlash over “ableist slur”

Written by on June 14, 2022

Will Heath/NBC

Fans spoke and Lizzo listened.

After receiving backlash over a lyric in her newly released song “Grrrls” being considered an “ableist slur,” Lizzo promptly updated the song and issued a statement.  

“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song “GRRRLS,” Lizzo wrote in a note shared to social media on Monday. “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 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,” she continued. “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. Xoxo, Lizzo.”

Lizzo released “Grrrls” on Friday, June 9 and in the song’s opening she raps, “Hold my bag, b****, hold my bag / Do you see this s***? I’m a spaz.”

Following the track’s release, users took to Twitter to call out her use of the term “spaz,” calling it an “ableist slur.” “Hey @lizzo my disability Cerebral Palsy is literally classified as Spastic Diplegia (where spasticity refers to unending painful tightness in my legs) your new song makes me pretty angry + sad,” one user expressed. “‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better.”

The “Grrrls” lyrics have since been updated to read, “Hold my bag, b****, hold my bag / Do you see this s***?Hold me back.”

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