An Australian disability advocate has revealed she has been the target of relentless trolling after accusing Beyoncé of using an ableist slur in a recently released song.
This isn’t the first time Hannah Divini has scolded a star for using the word “sp*z” in a song.
Last month, Divini tweeted to Lizzo that she needed to “get better,” and she did just that by changing the lyrics to her new song. GRRRLS and apologies.
Then last week Beyoncé released the track heated On her Renaissance album, prompting Divini to speak up again. The singer also changed the lyrics to her song due to the backlash.
Calling out the 28-time Grammy winner, Divini said her mentions on Twitter — tweets from users who tagged her — have turned into a “garbage can fire” and she wishes other people were as open to learning as Beyoncé and Lizzo.
“I have a lot of respect for Beyoncé and Lizzo for the apology,” she said, speaking on ABC. Questions and answers Thursday evening program.
“I think it’s a great move, because I think we’ve definitely seen it before, with celebrities doing all of this: ‘I’m going to double down, that’s not what I meant, you just misunderstood, bla- blah” and both of these women, who, it must be said, occupy an incredible place as marginalized people, showed the whole world how to be an effective ally.
“And it’s basically going to be open to learning, say, ‘OK cool, I did something wrong, now I’ll just fix it and we won’t make a lot of noise about it.’
“I just want people who are really into the fact that Beyoncé and Lizzo had to change the lyrics to their song understand that,” Divini continued.
“I actually considered bringing this up because I have a lot of people that I care about watching and people that care about me and don’t really understand what level of trolling I have this week.
“But I’ve had people basically send me photos or like GIFs of people in wheelchairs falling and people in wheelchairs being pushed off cliffs… which basically tells me to shut up and go away.” .
Divini said it wouldn’t stop her and vowed to keep screaming about any use of the word.
“This particular word has been used against me before as an insult and is especially used against me now,” she said.
“It’s used against people I care about and it suggests a lack of intelligence or emotional control, which are not the things I want to associate with me, the things I want to associate with my disability. They don’t reflect my life at all.
“Trust me, if people really lived with spasticity, I don’t think they would use it as an insult because it hurts.”
Although Beyoncé has not publicly commented on the backlash or the lyrics, the singer’s reps told the media that the word “was not used intentionally to harm” and will be replaced.
In June, Lizzo posted a statement on Twitter apologizing for using the word.
“It has been brought to my attention that there are [sic] — a harmful word in my song “GRRRLS,” she wrote.
“Let me be clear on one thing: I never want to promote derogatory language. As a fat black woman in America, a lot of hurtful words have been used against me, so I understand the power words can have (intentionally or, in my case, unintentionally).
“I’m proud that there’s a new version of Girls with changed lyrics. This is the result of me listening and taking action,” she continued.
“As an influential artist, I’ve dedicated myself to being part of the change I’ve been waiting to see in the world.”