Disability charity urges Beyonce to remove offensive term from new song

The derogatory term features in the lyrics of Heated, a track on the singer’s latest album, Renaissance.
Disability charity urges Beyonce to remove offensive term from new song

By Connie Evans, PA Entertainment Reporter

Beyonce has faced a backlash for the use of an offensive term in her song Heated, with a UK disability charity urging her to remove the word.

The track features on the American singer-songwriter’s highly anticipated seventh studio album, Renaissance, which was released last week.

The 40-year-old has since received criticism online over the lyrics to Heated, which was co-written by Canadian rapper Drake, for the inclusion of an ableist slur which is used twice towards the end of the song.

The term is sometimes used to refer to individuals with cerebral palsy, a condition which affects sufferers’ muscle co-ordination.

Disability equality charity Scope spoke out against Beyonce’s use of the word, less than a month after it did the same for American singer-songwriter Lizzo.

The charity’s media manager, Warren Kirwan, said: “It’s appalling that one of the world’s biggest stars has chosen to include this deeply offensive term.

“Just weeks ago, Lizzo received a huge backlash from fans who felt hurt and let down after she used the same abhorrent language.

“Thankfully she did the right thing and re-recorded the song. It’s hard to believe that could have gone unnoticed by Beyonce’s team.

“Words matter because they reinforce the negative attitudes disabled people face every day, and which impact on every aspect of disabled people’s lives.

“Beyonce has long been a champion of inclusivity and equality, so we’d urge her to remove this offensive lyric.”

Lizzo re-released her song Grrrls with a “lyric change” and issued a statement apologising after facing criticism for her use of the same word.

The pop superstar, who is known for promoting body positivity and self-love in her music, said she “never want(s) to promote derogatory language” and said she is “dedicated to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world”.

Following the release of Renaissance, Beyonce fans, colloquially known as the Beyhive, said her highly anticipated album was “made with the LGBT community in mind” as they shared their initial thoughts on the new release.

Representatives for Beyonce have been contacted for comment.

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