Lizzo releases new version of 'GRRRLS' with lyric change after blowback for use of ableist slur
Lizzo is 100%...ready to listen and change.
On Monday, the music artist announced that she has released a new version of her single "GRRRLS," changing the lyrics to eliminate an ableist slur that received some backlash over the weekend.
"It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song 'GRRRLS,'" she shared in a Twitter post. "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,)" 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."
Lizzo released the single, the second off her sophomore album Special, last Friday, but instead of a rapturous response, the song was quickly lambasted for one of its lyrics.
"Hold my bag, bitch," the song goes, with Lizzo singing over a Beastie Boys sample. "Hold my bag/ Do you see this s---?/ I'm a sp-z/ I'm about to knock somebody out/ Yo, where my best friend?/ She the only one I know to talk me off the deep end."
Twitter called out the use of the word "sp-z," noting that its 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," wrote one Twitter user. "'Sp-z' doesn't mean freaked out or crazy. It's an ableist slur. It's 2022. Do better."
A litany of similar comments expressing their dismay popped up throughout the weekend, leading Lizzo to make her own post announcing her decision to change the lyrics.
Her first single off Special, which drops July 15, "About Damn Time" became a Top 10 Billboard hit. Will the new and improved "GRRRLS" follow suit?