Beyoncé just can’t seem to catch a break.
The singer released her seventh studio album “Renaissance” on July 29 and has faced backlash since the release. The most recent backlash centered around her track “Heated,” after disability activist Hannah Diviney, from the UK, took to social media and The Guardian to accuse the singer of ableist language for using “spaz” in the song. In response, Beyoncé created a separate and cleaner version of the song, which replaced the word “spaz” for “blast.”
Co-written with Drake, Beyoncé sings in the explicit version: “Spazzin’ on that a**, spazz on that a**.” In the cleaner version, Bey sings: “Blastin’ on that a**, blast on that a**.”
A spokesperson for Beyoncé gave a statement to Variety about how she never intentionally meant to use the word in a harmful manner.
On July 30, Diviney posted on Instagram her disapproval of the “Halo” singer using the word in her song.
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She further explained what the word spaz meant, claiming it originated from the word “spastic,” which “characterizes a constant and incredibly painful unending tightness in [her] muscles that defines [her] Cerebral Palsy and has really been giving [her] absolute hell recently,” even as she wrote the post.
She even wrote an article about the matter on Hireup, which was republished in The Guardian. Diviney wrote that Beyoncé’s position in the music industry “doesn’t excuse her use of ableist language,” regardless of whether it was intentional or not.
Diviney also called Beyoncé using the ableist slur a “slap in the face” on Twitter.
So @Beyonce used the word ‘spaz’ in her new song Heated. Feels like a slap in the face to me, the disabled community & the progress we tried to make with Lizzo. Guess I’ll just keep telling the whole industry to ‘do better’ until ableist slurs disappear from music 💔
— Hannah Diviney (@hannah_diviney) July 30, 2022
Not too long ago, Diviney attacked Lizzo about the same thing but in her song “GRRRLS,” where she used the ableist slur. Like the boss she is, Lizzo didn’t protest and changed the lyrics.
AAVE use of “spaz” has been in effect since the 80s. It means to go crazy. Diviney’s incessant need to mind Black people’s business in the United States is rich.
As Diviney continues to chase clout, hopefully, she’ll get the memo to leave Black women alone.