Beyoncé could have saved herself the trouble. Because about six weeks before the singer was criticized for using the expression “spaz” in one of the songs of her new album “Renaissance”, exactly the same thing happened to her colleague Lizzo. Beyoncé could have learned from it, but apparently the superstar didn’t hear the shit storm or ignored it.
However, the 40-year-old now draws the same conclusion as the not-so-famous Lizzo: she will change the line. Through a spokesperson, Beyoncé stated that the word “was not intentionally used in an offensive manner.”
The thing is, though, that like the German spast or spasti, derived from Spastiker*in, there is no usage of “spaz” that isn’t offensive – at least not on the part of all those people who live without physical disabilities. It would be best for these people to delete the relevant expressions from their vocabulary right away, just like white people did the N-word. This long-overdue process of finding out could be accelerated by the attention that the American singers have unintentionally drawn to the topic.
It’s exemplary that Lizzo accompanied the modified version of her song “Grrrls” from the current album “Special” with a tweet in which she explained that as a “fat black woman in America” she knows very well how it feels when you use hurtful words referred to as. “As an influential artist, I’m determined to be part of the change I want to see in the world.”
Various politicians, comedians, authors and musicians could take this as an example. Instead of whining about justified criticism that the Cancel Culture mob wants to silence them, they could simply accept something – and recognize the opportunity for their own further development.
Beyoncé’s track “Heated”, in whose rapped outro the expression is used twice, can still be heard unchanged on the streaming portals. It is unlikely that Queen Bey will also publish a statement, but hopefully the royal correction will still have a signal effect. Because from now on, no pop star can really claim that they didn’t realize that those words are hurtful and anti-handicapped. Anyone who still needs them can be canceled.