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International pop star Lizzo has changed lyrics in her new single grrrr following a response from disability activists online who complained that the song contained an offensive slur.
grrrr was released last week by Lizzo, 34, and originally featured an insulting term for cerebral palsy (aka spastic diplegia) in the song’s first verse.
In the song’s original opening, Lizzo sang, “Hold my bag, b—-/Hold my bag/ Do you see this s—? I am spazz.”
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Many fans and disability activists expressed their disappointment online, explaining that the term “spazz” should be removed and the song re-recorded.
Disability activist Hannah Diviney, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, was one of many who tweeted Lizzo calling for the text change.
“‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean crazy or crazy,” Diviney wrote. “It’s an insulting slur. It’s 2022. Do it better.”
The singer clearly took the criticism seriously, as she announced on Monday that she has released a new version of the song without the ‘harmful word’.
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the reworked grrrr track now contains the words “hold me back” instead of the offensive lyrics.
“Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” Lizzo wrote in a statement on social media.
“As a fat black woman in America, I’ve used a lot of hurtful words against me, so I understand the power that words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally),” she continued.
She claimed the text change was a “result of me listening and taking action.”
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“As an influential artist, I am committed to being part of the change I expected to see in the world,” she concluded before signing the statement.
grrrr has been updated on several streaming platforms, including Apple Music, Spotify, and YouTube.
Fans and activists online rejoiced at the lyrics change, thankful to be heard by the singer.
According to the government of Canada, a diagnosis of cerebral palsy “comes with a significant economic and social burden”.
CanChild, an Ontario-based research center for the study of children and youth with developmental disabilities, claims that one in 400 Canadians will be diagnosed with cerebral palsy, making it the most common physical disability in children.
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