Lizzo Under Fire For 'Ableist Slur' In New Single

12 June 2022 | 5:49 pm | Staff Writer

Fans are pushing the 'So Damn Fine' hitmaker to remove and 'fix' her new single 'Grrrls'.

(Pic by Luke Gilford)

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Lizzo's new single Grrrls hit streaming services last Friday, lighting up playlists as the follow-up to So Damn Fine, which is still riding high in the charts globally. 

The track has set social media alight for one particular offensive phrase which opens verse one of the song: “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/Do you see this shit? I’ma sp*zz”. 

It's hard to see how in 2022 one of the biggest artists in the world managed to get through layers of label, A&R, management and publishers with nobody flagging the offensive nature of the phrase, but here we are. 

The song, which samples Beastie Boys' Girls, turns the controversial Licensed To Ill tune into a cracking girl power anthem, with some fans dismayed that a track designed to empower one group can open with a slur against another.

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The song has caused outrage among the community, with advocates for those with cerebral palsy, Autism and other disabilities that have had the word hurtfully used against them over years rightly pointing out the hurtful and unnecessary slur pushing a phrase we thought was killed off a decade or more ago back into youth consciousness.

Twitter user @morecowbella who lives with multiple sclerosis took to Twitter to explain her experience and why the slur stings:

"It’s traumatic. Nobody will ever know what it’s like until they experience their muscles and limbs moving and jolting uncontrollably. The fear of going out in public and not knowing when your spasm will come on and therefore being afraid to witness the stares and the looks that people will turn your way whenever you have a spasm. They are painful, they are annoying, they are the one part of my disability that I can’t stand the most. And now celebrities and abled people want to use the term without even knowing what a real spasm is like? I absolutely love Lizzo, but she made a mistake and can learn from it. And again, I hope this inspires people to educate themselves on ableist terms that are widely used in society today, even though there are simply other words to use instead of them."

We can't say it better than that, so we won't try.

Lizzo has yet to respond to the criticism, although with over 5,000 tweets per hour firing on the topic, this seems to be one issue that is NOT 'damn fine' and will need addressing. 

Removing the single or updating the audio is a difficult task, especially on a hit from a global superstar, but not acting on the issue comes at the cost of continually using a slur that hurts people with disabilities. Fix it Lizzo.