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    Beyonce to remove offensive lyric after community outcry

    LOS ANGELES (AFP) – Beyonce will remove a derogatory term for disabled people from her new song Heated, a spokesperson said on Monday, after its use was condemned as offensive by campaigners.

    The United States (US) pop megastar will re-record the track from her latest album Renaissance.

    “The offensive word, not used intentionally in a harmful way, will be replaced,” a spokesperson for Beyonce told AFP via email.

    Co-written with Canadian rapper Drake, the dance track appears to use the word “spaz” in the colloquial sense of temporarily losing control or acting erratically.

    But disability campaigners noted that the word is derived from “spastic”.

    Beyonce speaks onstage during the 58th Annual Grammy Music Awards in Los Angeles. PHOTO: AFP

    According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, spasticity is a movement disorder involving stiff muscles and awkward movement, suffered by 80 per cent of people with cerebral palsy.

    In June, US singer Lizzo re-recorded her song Grrrls to remove the same term following complaints that it was derogatory.

    Australian disability campaigner Hannah Diviney said the inclusion of the word by Beyonce “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,” she tweeted.

    Beyonce’s eagerly anticipated seventh solo studio album Renaissance was released last Friday, drawing mainly positive reviews with its nods to disco and electronic dance.

    Other collaborators on the album – which leaked online in the days prior to its official release – include Nile Rodgers, Skrillex, Nigerian singer Tems, Grace Jones, Pharrell and Beyonce’s rap mogul husband Jay-Z.

    In an Instagram post published soon after the album’s release, Beyonce said creating the album “allowed me a place to dream and to find escape during a scary time for the world”.

    “My intention was to create a safe place, a place without judgment,” she wrote.

    “A place to be free of perfectionism and overthinking. A place to scream, release, feel freedom.”

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