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The immediate response to Lizzo's latest release, “Grrrls,” was not quite as glowing as it was for the still inescapable bop “About Damn Time.” Critics immediately clocked the artist's use of the ableist slur “spaz” in the lyrics and took to the internet with their very fair critiques. Now, while a certain male comedian whose name rhymes with “Shmave Lapelle” might have cried “cancel culture,” Lizzo is a grown-up who knows better.
Instead of doubling down, Lizzo swiftly altered the lyrics to her song and posted a thoughtful statement to her social media about her mistake and subsequent correction.
“It's been brought to my attention that there is a harmful word in my new song, ‘GRRRLs,’” her statement began. “Let me make one thing clear: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, I've had many hurtful words used against me so I [understand] the power words can have (whether intentionally or in my case, unintentionally).”
The updated track changes the line, “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / Do you see this shit? I’m a spaz” to “Hold my bag, bitch, hold my bag / Do you see this shit? Hold me back.” There's also a fair argument to be made that the new lyric is better even if the original line wasn't offensive, but I digress.
“As an influential artist I'm dedicated to being part of the change I've been waiting to see in the world,” Lizzo's statement continued. It's both true that Lizzo is a massively popular and influential artist and that for her, a fat Black woman in America, the microscope on her is way harsher and more focused than it would be for a man or a white person. It's a bummer that Lizzo has to deal with more scrutiny than less marginalized artists while also leading by example with grace—but maybe some of those quote-unquote “canceled” dudes can learn from her anyway.
Originally Appeared on Glamour