Lizzo Apologizes And Changes Lyrics of “Grrrls” After Using Ableist Lyric

Lizzo has released a new version of “Grrrls” after disability advocates called her out for using the word “spaz” at the start of the songs.

Lizzo is taking the high road. After facing backlash from fans for using the word “spaz” in new single “Grrrls,” the Watch Out for the Big Grrrls host subsequently changed the lyric, also releasing a statement to social media on Monday (June 13).

“It’s been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song “GRRRLS,” she wrote. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language,” she continued. “As a fat black woman in America, I’ve had many hateful words used against me so I understand the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case unintentionally). 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,” she ended her statement. “As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”

Prior to changing the lyric, users on TikTok and Twitter discussed the word “spaz” referring to spastic diplegia, a condition that affects motor control in the legs and occasionally associated with mild brain damage.

The Cambridge Dictionary also defines the slur as “an offensive way of saying ‘a stupid person.'”

Others came to Lizzo’s defense, saying that using “spaz” was an honest mistake.

After the lyric was changed, fans thanked Lizzo for being mindful of their requests.

After airing Watch Out for the Big Grrrls on Amazon Prime, the musician last spoke with Variety about releasing a scripted project with Amazon Studios in the future. Lizzo’s fourth album Special is due to release on July 15 via Nice Life Recording Company/Atlantic Records.

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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