Beyoncé Has Been Called Out For Ableism In New Track ‘Heated’
Beyoncé has also been called out for sampling Kelis' music without permission.
Just six weeks after Lizzo apologised and removed an ableist slur from her track ‘Grrrls’, Beyoncé has been called out for using the same word one in of the tracks on her new album Renaissance.
In the album — released on Friday — Beyoncé repeated the same slur twice in her new track ‘Heated’, co-written by Canadian rapper Drake. The track’s release comes just six weeks after disability advocates called out Lizzo for the lyrics, quickly prompted the artist to re-release the song sans-slur and apologise for promoting the derogatory language.
“I’m proud to say there’s a new version of GRRRLS with a lyric change,” Lizzo announced back in June. “This is the result of me listening and taking action.
“As an influential artist I’m dedicated to being a part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”
So @Beyonce used the word 'spaz' in her new song Heated. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community & the progress we tried to make with Lizzo. Guess I'll just keep telling the whole industry to 'do better' until ableist slurs disappear from music 💔
— Hannah Diviney (@hannah_diviney) July 30, 2022
Social media users have been quick to call out Beyonce’s use of the slur, asserting that if Lizzo could hold herself accountable and change the lyric, Beyoncé should too.
i am a longtime fan of beyoncés and i am EXTREMELY disgusted and disappointed in her using an ableist slur on her new album. lizzo did the same thing and we made her change the lyrics, let’s do the same for beyoncé. #BeyonceIsOverParty #Beyonce #Renaissance pic.twitter.com/cenqZ8IJCQ
— Normani Chart Source (@ManiChartSource) July 29, 2022
#Beyonce team had a choice. Everyone knew this ableist language was a problem. Why did they choose to retain this harmful language? How does @beyonce feel about the disabled community? This indicates a lack of thought. https://t.co/3fN7TcnK9W
— claudiaalick (@claudiaalick) July 31, 2022
Beyonce has no excuse for using the word [email protected] in her new song. Considering how public lizzo went for the use in her song and for her removing it…this is disappointing.
Why are disabled people constantly having to fight for ableist slurs to stop being used.
— Krystal-Bella Shaw (@krystalbellax) July 31, 2022
I’ve lived all my life with small uncontrollable body movements & nervous energy. I’m often a bit weird, jittery & have tendency to freak out. When I was kid I was told I was a spaz & somehow I was less accepted because of it. @Beyonce lyrics suck. Spaz needs to dropped from rap. pic.twitter.com/edX02xqjhj
— Dan Sanguineti 🎥 🌈 (@DanSanguineti) July 31, 2022
So very shortly after Lizzo humbly educated herself and changed the lyrics in Grrrls, Beyonce decided to move forward with using the same ableist slur in her song HEATED? Idk man. My love for Beyonce runs deep but… pic.twitter.com/ANxLwKQe8J
— Zach Katz (@ZachKatz) July 30, 2022
It is, however, worth noting that the backlash to both Beyoncé and Lizzo’s use of the word has sparked discussion regarding the word and its use in AAVE. A broader conversation must be had here to ensure that music can be expressive and inclusive to all, but it is important that Black disabled people’s voices are at the centre of that discussion.
The backlash is the second time Beyoncé has been called out in relation to the new album, after Kelis — of ‘Milkshake’ fame — criticised her for sampling the hit song on her track ‘Energy’ without permission.
“My mind is blown too because the level of disrespect and utter ignorance of all 3 parties involved is astounding. I heard about this the same way everyone else did. Nothing is ever as it seems , some of the people in this business have no soul or integrity and they have everyone fooled,” said Kelis, adding that “it’s not a collab, it’s theft.”
Beyoncé is yet to respond to the criticism.