Lizzo responded in an interview to accusations that she used an ableist slur in the hit song “Grrrls.”
While speaking to Vanity Fair for an interview published on October 11th, the singer addressed criticism that her track contained an ableist slur.
Featured on her album Special, the song includes the lyric, “Hold my bag, b####, hold my bag / Do you see this s###? I’m a spaz.”
The line was criticized for using the word “spaz,” a shortening of the word “spastic.” This word has roots in the 1980s United Kingdom when it was used to bully people with cerebral palsy.
In her Vanity Fair interview, the R&B star explained why she wrote it.
“I’d never heard it used as a slur against disabled people, never ever. The music I make is in the business of feeling good and being authentic to me,” she said. “Using a slur is unauthentic to me, but I did not know it was a slur.”
She continued, “It’s a word I’ve heard a lot, especially in rap songs, and with my Black friends and in my Black circles: It means to go off, turn up. I used (it as a) verb, not as a noun or adjective.
“I used it in the way that it’s used in the Black community.”