Following the release of Beyoncé’s highly anticipated Renaissance on July 29, disability rights activists took to social media to raise the issue of the ableist slur “spaz” on “HEATED.” In the song, Beyoncé raps “spazzing on that ass, spaz on that ass” on the outro. “Spaz” is defined by Merriam-Webster as an offensive slang term to refer to “one who is inept.” In light of the response, the singer’s publicist confirmed to Sky News that the term will be replaced and it wasn’t “used intentionally in a harmful way.”
The criticism comes a few weeks after pop star Lizzo faced similar criticism for using the same slur in her song “GRRRLS.” The singer immediately sprung into action and released an updated version alongside a statement that said, “This is the result of me listening and taking action. As an influential artist[,] I’m dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.” The lyric, which initially said “I’m a spaz,” was changed to “hold me back” in the updated version.
In light of the imminent change, Beyonce has removed “HEATED” from YouTube. The song is still available to stream.
Below, listen to “BREAK MY SOUL.”