Fans Call Out 'Ableist' Lyric in Lizzo's 'Grrrls'

Fans Call Out 'Ableist' Lyric in Lizzo's 'Grrrls'

by Hedy Phillips

Lizzo’s latest song, “Grrrls,” is causing a bit of a stir with fans and non-fans alike who are questioning one of the lyrics. Specifically, many disability advocates are asking Lizzo to change a line in the first verse, calling it offensive and ableist.

In the song, Lizzo sings, “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag/ Do you see this shit? I’ma sp*z,” and though the word has become a bit commonplace in the modern vernacular, the root of the word is “spastic,” which is used as a medical term for spasms. Disability advocates are calling out the ableism of the word, which has been used in the past as a derogatory term in relation to cerebral palsy or similar disabilities.

Plenty of people took to Twitter to discuss the song, in part to call Lizzo out, but also to educate others who may not have realized the negative connotations of the word.

Disability advocate Hannah Diviney tweeted over the weekend, “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.”

Fellow advocate Callum Stephen also tweeted over the weekend, noting that Lizzo has long been an advocate for plus-size women, Black women and “others whom society treats poorly,” so it felt especially disappointing for her to use this word in her song. Stephen added, “I’d like to add that this is not a hate tweet; it’s a call for a talented person in a position of power who knows how to use their platform for good to approach ableism with greater sensitivity and apologise for their mistake. I’m not here to cancel Lizzo, but to inspire change.”

Lizzo has yet to respond to the criticism from fans on “Grrrls.”

Photo via Getty/ Dave Simpson/ WireImage