When music artist Lizzo released her new single ‘Grrls’ she was faced with backlash from the disabled community about a specific lyric used. Lizzo was labeled as an ableist, and fans of her work quickly pointed out why the word was so offensive and that it needed to change.

The steps that Lizzo took to rectify her mistake and how she turned the controversy around should become the new standard for all PR professionals to use in such situations.

In this episide we discuss the Lizzo lyric that got people upset and how she made it right. We explain the context of the word, why the word was so offensive, how she framed her response, why Lizzo’s response should be the new standard, why older generations did not find it offensive, and much more. 


Key Points From This Episode: 

  • We start the show with context about the Lizzo lyric controversy. 
  • Why people were so upset with the word that she used.
  • How Lizzo has set a new standard for dealing with offending people.
  • We hear what Lizzo’s response was to the criticism.
  • What you should never do when dealing with criticism: an off-the-cuff response.
  • A walkthrough of Lizzo’s reply and why it was appropriate.
  • The framework she based her response on and why it is so powerful.
  • An outline of the replies and support that Lizzo received.
  • The differences between older and younger generations finding the word offensive. 
  • Reasons why this is not a cancel-culture moment.
  • We close the show with a takeaway indestructible tip for listeners. 


“That is how you do it. You write the statement and then you make the change.” — @MollyMcPherson [0:08:32]

“What she is doing is she’s showing that it is possible to re-examine words, phrases, and actions.” — @MollyMcPherson [0:09:04]

“When it offends some, you need to make that change.” — @MollyMcPherson [0:11:23]

“Drop victimhood and embrace the idea of change.” — @MollyMcPherson [0:11:53]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:

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© Molly McPherson 2022