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“By using the word ‘retarded’ in the popular song, there is a real possibility that the word will be reinforced as part of our popular culture and inflict unnecessary harm on millions of people with intellectual disabilities,” says Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation
(12/13/17 – Boston, MA) – The Ruderman Family Foundation, a national leader in disability inclusion, is calling out Marshall Mathers (Eminem) and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter for use of the word ‘retarded’ in their new song Walk on Water. In a letter sent to the musicians’ representatives on Tuesday, the Foundation urged the two superstars to meet with the disability community to gain a better understanding of how their language impacts people with disabilities—the largest minority group in the world—and to use their celebrity to stop the bullying of people with disabilities.
“The word ‘retarded’ is an offensive term for people with intellectual disabilities and is used to bully millions of adults and children with intellectual disabilities around the world,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, wrote in the letter. “In order to help alleviate the harm that has been done by using this word in your song, I urge you to meet with the disability community, to use your position of influence and take a strong stand against bigotry toward people with disabilities.”
“By using the word ‘retarded’ in the popular song, there is a real possibility that the word will be reinforced as part of our popular culture and inflict unnecessary harm on millions of people with intellectual disabilities,” Ruderman added.
The track, released last month, is the first single on Mathers’ 9th studio album Revival, set for release on December 15. In the song, the 15-time Grammy Award winner raps a line, “Kids look to me like as a God, this is retarded / If they only knew, it’s a façade and it’s exhausting.”