Lewinsky’s request came shortly after Beyoncé removed an ableist slur from a song on her new album, Renaissance.
Monica Lewinsky has responded to fans’ confusion over her decision to speak out against a 2013 Beyoncé lyric that referenced her affair with former President Bill Clinton.
But first, here’s the backstory to explain how we got here.
Last Friday, Beyonce released her brand new album, Renaissance. While the project was widely praised, many listeners took issue with the use of the word “spaz” in the 11th track, “Heated”.
After Beyoncé faced intense criticism for including the ableist slur, a rep for the singer announced on Monday that she would remove the lyrics, saying they weren’t used “intentionally in a harmful way.” .
Prompted by these reports, Lewinsky has spoken out to suggest that Beyoncé might also consider dropping a reference to her in the 2013 song “Sheet Music.”
“uh, while we’re at it… #Sheet music”, Lewinsky tweeted on Monday, a link to a Variety article about Beyoncé replacing the lyrics to “Heated.”
In case you’re not familiar, “Sheet Music” – which appeared on Beyoncé’s self-titled album – alludes to a very ~specific~ aspect of Clinton’s affair with then-21-year-old Lewinsky in the late 1990s. 1990s.
During the first verse, Beyoncé describes a sexual encounter where her partner “Monica Lewinsky-ed all on my gown”. This is presumably a reference to Clinton’s infidelity being publicly proven after semen stains on a blue dress belonging to Lewinsky turned out to be hers.
Before we continue, it’s probably worth mentioning that using Lewinsky’s name in the context of sexual innuendo is common in rap music — and Beyoncé certainly wasn’t the first to do it.
During her 2015 Ted Talk, Lewinsky noted that she had been named in nearly 40 rap songs, performed by Nicki Minaj, Eminem and Lil Wayne.
Poking fun at this common occurrence, Lewinsky has a “rap song muse” listed in his Twitter bio.
Keeping all of that in mind — and the fact that “Sheet Music” was released nearly nine years ago — several Twitter users were left confused by Lewinsky’s decision to call the lyrics at that time.
While responding to People, Lewinsky noted that this isn’t the first time she’s expressed displeasure with the lyrics, drawing their attention to a Vanity Fair essay she wrote in 2014.
An excerpt from the essay shows she thanked Beyoncé for the shoutout, but added, “If we’re speaking verbally, I think you meant ‘Bill Clinton was all on my dress’, not ‘Monica Lewinsky’.”
Of those who tweeted their confusion, many were quick to mention the reference to being a muse in Lewinsky’s Twitter bio.
In response, Lewinsky said she’s learned to find humor in painful or humiliating things, sharing that’s how she’s “survived” in the past.
Interestingly, when asked by a fan if she contacted Beyoncé or her team before her tweet, Lewinsky confirmed that she hadn’t, before telling them that they made an “interesting/fair point “.
Beyoncé has yet to comment on the matter, and it remains to be seen if she will rework the lyrics to “Score” in light of Lewinsky’s thoughts.