Fans are asking Lizzo to change the lyrics in her song ‘Grrls,’ which includes an offensive term often used against members of the disabled community.
Fans and disability rights advocates are speaking out over Lizzo’s new song ‘Grrrls,’ which includes a word that is used as a derogatory term to describe people with cerebral palsy.
The lyric includes the shortened word for spastic diplegia, a neurological condition that is a form of cerebral palsy. Those with spastic diplegia can experience tightened muscles and exaggerated reflex that cause spasticity.
The line in the song reads “hold my bag, do you see this sh**? I’ma sp*zz. I’m about to knock somebody out.” In the context of the song, the word sp*zz is used to describe someone acting irrationally or aggressive.
“This is a slur that affects disabled people negatively. It makes us sound unintelligent and is used against us violently and is dehumanizing,” tweeted social media influencer and disability advocate Shelby.
Shelby, who goes by the username Shelbykinsxo, says this isn’t a call to “cancel” the singer but rather educate wider audiences on why the word can be harmful.
“I’ve seen a few comments across the internet talking about “cancelling Lizzo” and that’s not what we want – we want to educate her and have the word changed,” she tweeted.
Writer and disability rights advocate Hannah Diviney, who is diagnosed with spastic displegia herself, tweeted why the term shouldn’t be synonymous with acting “crazy.”
“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. ‘Spaz’ doesn’t mean freaked out or crazy. It’s an ableist slur. It’s 2022. Do better,” she tweeted.
Another fan tweeted that it’s not too late for the artist to make amends and use the moment as a learning experience.
“Everybody makes mistakes. What is important is how we handle them and grow from them. I can only speak for myself, but I’d love it if Lizzo apologized and use her platform to raise awareness of the issues disabled people face, then release a brilliant and *inclusive* album,” autism advocate Callum Stephen tweeted.
The single was released on Friday, however, Lizzo has yet to address her fans.