Since releasing the highly-anticipated project, it has gone on to break several records and has been tagged Beyoncé’s most critically-acclaimed studio so far. However, alongside its impressive success has come some major controversies.
Beyoncé Slammed For Using Ableist Slur
Earlier this week, the Queen was on the receiving end of backlash after a track on “Renaissance” contained a slur.
As The Blast covered, track #11 titled “Heated” contained the ableist slur, “spaz.” In the song, Beyoncé sings “S**zzin’ on that ass, s**zz on the ass.”
However, the word “S**z” is believed to have been derived from the medical term spastic which refers to a disability that makes it difficult for people to control their muscles, especially in their arms and legs.
Often when used in music, it signifies an iteration of “spastic” that speaks to “going crazy” or “freaking out” on the dance floor.
Regardless of the intention of the singer, the word is greatly frowned upon and Beyoncé was not exempted from the wrath of fans.
The backlash was even more intense as weeks ago singer Lizzo made the same mistake with her song, “Grrls” and was called out on social media for the grave error.
Read some of the comments targeted toward Bey below.
One disappointed fan tweeted, “It’s very hard to believe neither Beyoncé nor anyone in her team didn’t recognize the ableist slur when Lizzo very publicly made the same mistake a month ago (and graciously corrected it). Exhausting.”
Another comment read, “It is kind of disheartening to see people on Twitter saying Beyoncé and Lizzo shouldn’t have removed the slur from their songs because they don’t think it’s a slur when disabled people have to fight tooth and nail for the most basic of human decency and respect tbh.”
Warren Kirwan, the media manager for the disability charity Scope also commented on the issue via a statement that read, “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 Beyoncé’s team.”
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Monica Lewinsky Wants Beyoncé To Change Another Lyric
Following the backlash, Beyoncé’s team released a statement announcing their decision to change the lyrics.
“The word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” the statement read. Beyond has since followed up on her promise and the line has been changed to “Blastin’ on that ass, blast on that ass.”
However, amid the controversy, there’s been another demand for another lyric change — this time for a song from nine years ago.
On Monday, public figure Monica Lewinsky — a former White House intern with whom former president Bill Clinton had an affair and was impeached as a result — took to Twitter to air a suggestion.
Quoting a Variety magazine link about the ableist slur, Lewinsky wrote, “uhmm, while we’re at it…#Partition.” In Beyoncé’s 2013 song titled “Partition,” the singer referenced Clinton and Lewinsky’s affair saying,
“Oh, me so horny, yeah, he want to f**k
He popped all my buttons, and he ripped my blouse
He Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown.”
It seems Lewinsky is riding on the wave of lyric change to make her case.
Fans React To Lewinsky’s Request
Following Lewinsky’s tweet, fans have reacted to her request, with some bashing her for chasing clout.
A fan referenced the activist’s Twitter bio which reads, “rap song muse,” asking “Are you not proud of it?”
Gurl please! You know you get your life to those lyrics pic.twitter.com/avRg4mhbsX
— Sir Parkwood (@Rocksteady00) August 1, 2022
This tweet read, “Monica girl be realistic… You’re saying that Beyoncé should remove a line from her song that came out 9 years ago??? And why are you only talking about Beyoncé, there were plenty of other artists who were more disrespectful. Beyoncé’s line wasn’t even bad. So calm down.”
Another comment read, “Ok now ppl are just jumping on the Renaissance hype bc its been almost a decade since Partition😭. And to include it in the conversation of slurs. Plus the way MANY rappers have referenced the situation and she has openly embraced it so like??”
Are you not proud of it? pic.twitter.com/mKpd79JquF
— MELANIN FIONA (@RashadEst85) August 1, 2022
Beyoncé is yet to respond to Lewinsky’s suggestion. Hence, it’s unsure if another lyric change would be made.