Monica Lewinsky suggests Beyoncé remove ‘Partition’ lyric about her following ‘Heated’ update

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Monica Lewinsky has weighed in on the recent controversy regarding an ableist slur in Beyoncé’s new song ‘Heated’ – which the singer has since edited to remove the offensive term – suggesting that she also change a lyric on her 2015 hit ‘Partition’.

Released as the third single from Beyoncé’s self-titled 2015 album, ‘Partition’ features a lyric that name-drops Lewinsky. Referring to Lewinsky’s infamous scandal with former US President Bill Clinton, Bey sings on the track: “Oh, he so horny, yeah he want to fuck / He popped all my buttons, he ripped my blouse / He Monica Lewinsky’d all on my gown.” 

Lewinsky first addressed the lyrics in a 2014 article written for Vanity Fair, wherein she said: “Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we’re verbing, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton’d all on my gown’.”

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Now, she’s revived talk of the reference on Twitter, responding to the news that Beyoncé would change an ableist lyric on the song ‘Heated’, which appears on her just-released ‘Renaissance’ album. Similar to a recent controversy with Lizzo’s song ‘Grrrls’ (which was also amended shortly thereafter), Beyoncé caught flak earlier this week for using the word “spaz” in one of the song’s lyrics.

While used colloquially in the United States with a similar meaning to “freak out” or “go crazy”, the term emerges from the word “spastic”, which is used medically to describe the spasms one might experience from a condition like cerebral palsy. The term is often used in a derogative manner to describe those with disabilities, especially cerebral palsy.

Following the backlash, Beyoncé’s publicist confirmed that the offensive lyric in ‘Heated’ would indeed be altered. When streaming the song on Apple Music, all uses of the slur have been replaced with the word “blast”.

Using the hashtag #Partition, Lewinsky tweeted in response to the news: “Uhm, while we’re at it…” In responses made to people who’d replied to her tweet, Lewinsky stated that she’s “learned to deal with painful or humiliating things” by finding the humour in them, and noted that she had never formally reached out to Beyoncé’s team to request the lyric be changed.

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Overnight, it was confirmed that Beyoncé had made a second edit to ‘Renaissance’ in the wake of controversy, altering the track ‘Energy’ to remove an interpolation of Kelis’ 2003 hit ‘Milkshake’.

Shortly after ‘Renaissance’ was released last Friday (July 29), Kelis took to social media to claim that Beyoncé used elements of ‘Milkshake’ without her express permission. The song has now been updated on Tidal and Apple Music to remove the interpolation, however it still appears to be intact on other platforms.

In a four-star review of ‘Renaissance’, which was released last Friday (July 29), NME’s Kyann-Sian Williams said Beyoncé’s latest album “continue[s] leading the charge to bring Black culture back to the forefront of house and dance scenes”.

It’s also been revealed that the album is part of a forthcoming trilogy. A fan who received a vinyl copy of the album shared an image from its accompanying booklet, wherein Beyoncé describes ‘Renaissance’ as the first of a “three act project” that was recorded “over three years during the pandemic”.