Over the weekend, people on social media accused Lizzo of using an ableist term, “spazz,” a word people with disabilities in the UK deem as offensive, and she took to Instagram to apologize.
In preparation of her upcoming album, Lizzo released a new song, “Grrrl’s” just a few days ago, but many of her fans in the UK deem it as offensive. Though the term means “acting out” or to “react in an upset way” in America, that’s obviously not the universal meaning.
On Monday, Lizzo responded and shared a note to her Instagram page that explained she meant no harm when using the word.
Acknowledging that she used a “harmful” word, Lizzo apologized. She expressed:
It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song “GRRRLS.” 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 the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally).
The “Truth Hurts” singer also told her fans that a new version of the single is available and that “spazz” is no longer used.
“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. xoxo Lizzo”
The lyrics have been updated from “Do you see this s**t/I’mma spazz” to “Do you see this s**t/Hold me back.”
People on Twitter debated the term and how it was used. One person tweeted, in part:
I’m disappointed in @lizzo for using the word “sp@z” in her new song “Grrrls”. 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.
— Callum Stephen (He/Him) (@AutisticCallum_) June 11, 2022
Another person pointed out the AAVE use of the word and stated:
People are misquoting the lizzo song as “I’m a spazz” it’s “imma spazz” as “I am going to spazz” and not “I am a spazz”
— NIP TUCK (@lolitalovesyou_) June 13, 2022
Roomies, what do you think about this?