Beyoncé removes lyric deemed ableist after ‘heated’ fan response

Not even a week has passed since Beyoncé released her hotly anticipated, seventh studio album Renaissance on July 29, but Houston’s queen is already dealing with more controversy.

After fan outrage on social media and even an essay in The Guardian, Beyoncé’s team has removed what many deem an ableist slur in her song “Heated.” Variety was first to report the news.

At issue is the verse: “Spazzin’ on that ass, spazz on that ass.” The term “spaz,” is long-known slang for “spastic,” which refers to a serious, neuromuscular conditions such as cerebral palsy, which  leaves sufferers barely able to control their muscle movements.

When contacted by Variety, Beyoncé’s team confirmed that they will nix the offensive lyric, issuing a statement that reads to the publication, “The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced.”

This marks the second time this year a Houston-born pop star has had to adjust a lyric that many found insensitive. As previously reported here, Houston’s Lizzo was spurred to change her song “Grrrls” on her album Special, which also used “spaz” in a verse. Lizzo, for her part, quickly reacted, retracted the lyric, and expressed remorse and learning from the incident.

As for Queen Bey, this is yet another headline regarding Renaissance. Days before the official drop, fans discovered a song leak; the BeyHive rallied and urged all fans to wait until the July 29 release date.

And just hours after the midnight release, singer Kelis accused Beyonce for “thievery” for sampling her club hit “Milkshake” on the new track “Energy” — without permission. That, however, prompted our resident pop culture critic to call the allegations unfair.

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