Beyonce to replace offensive lyric in new song after criticism

Disability charity led calls for singer to remove ableist slur from song Heated.

Beyonce replaces offensive lyric on Heated from album Renaissance after pressure from charity Scope Getty Images

Beyonce is to replace an offensive term in her new song Heated, following criticism from a UK disability charity and campaigners.

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

The 40-year-old 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.

It is now understood that the word is set to be replaced with a spokesperson for the star telling Sky News it was not “used intentionally in a harmful way”.

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