Three-time Grammy winner Lizzo has come under fire for using an ableist slur in her latest song, Grrrls. The track was recently released, sparking outrage from fans. Netizens have since demanded that the pop artist should change the lyrics.
Lizzo has become one of the most famous musicians in recent years, following her popularity on TikTok. Her chart-topping track About Damn Time managed to capture the internet’s attention. Since then, many dance choreographies for her songs have appeared online.
Netizens expected Lizzo’s latest song Grrrls to be a fan favorite. However, it has garnered negative attention. The singer has been accused of using offensive lyrics in the opening verse of her latest song, which reads:
“Hold my bag, b**h (girls)/ Hold my bag/ Do you see this s**t? I’ma sp*z/ I’m about to knock somebody out (girls)”
Netizens condemned the usage of the word “sp*z” in the lyrics. Many found it hard to believe that one of the world's top artists could not recognize a slur in her song. Netizens blamed her label, management, and publishers.
Why were Lizzo’s lyrics deemed offensive?
The Grrrls song sampled Beastie Boys’ Girls. The controversial Licensed To III tune was turned into an energetic girl power anthem. Though the song was meant to be uplifting, it started an important conversation about ableism online.
Fans were upset that Lizzo used the slur "sp*z". The word “sp*z” is a slur often used for those suffering from neurological disabilities.
Spastic is used as a medical term to describe spasms related to high muscle tones. High muscle tone is a condition experienced by people with disabilities who live with excessive stiffness. Medical professionals call this spasticity. This is commonly seen in those who have cerebral palsy.
According to The Mighty, over 77% of people with cerebral palsy have spastic muscles. This causes people to make one’s muscles contract. It can also lead to decreased mobility and muscle twitching.
The word “sp*z” is a slur used by people to describe those who are awkward, easily excitable, and uncool. Now, advocates for those who live with Autism, cerebral palsy, and other difficulties are holding the singer accountable.
Netizens react to Lizzo's Grrrls track
Netizens now demand the song be taken down and re-released without the ableist slur. A few tweets where netizens slammed the singer read:
Lizzo has not responded to the criticism she has amassed. Over 5,000 tweets continue to outpour every hour on the same topic.
This is not the first time the Michigan-native’s song has made headlines. A federal judge recently dismissed a long-running lawsuit surrounding her track Truth Hurts. The artist was accused of lifting the “melody, lyrics and chords” from a demo track titled Healthy. Her most famous line- “I just took a DNA test, turns out I’m 100% that b**ch" was alleged to have been stolen from another artist.
The musician vehemently denied the allegations. The singer and the creators of the song Healthy - Jeremiah Raisen and Justin Rothman, reached a settlement the same in March.