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Sam Smith responds to Oscar speech critics

By | Published on Tuesday 1 March 2016

Sam Smith

Sam Smith has hit out at people mocking him for that faux pas in his Oscar acceptance speech on Sunday, in which he claimed to be the first openly gay man to win at the Academy Awards.

Picking up the trophy for Best Song for his Bond theme ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, Smith told the audience: “I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar. And if this is the case, even if it isn’t the case, I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world. I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day”.

Unfortunately, that’s not quite what McKellen said when interviewed by The Guardian in January. Rather, he had pointed out that no openly gay man had ever won the Best Actor Oscar.

Told backstage that he was mistaken, Entertainment Weekly reports that Smith responded: “Shit! Fuck that! Two’s my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?

“If you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé”, tweeted Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who is engaged to diver Tom Daley. Though both should note that quite a lot of openly gay men won non-acting Oscars before either of them.

Responding to criticism of his error yesterday, Smith wrote on Twitter: “Second openly gay man to win an Oscar or third or fourth or 100th, it wasn’t my point. My point was to shine some light on the LGBT community who I love so dearly”.

Ian McKellan also commented on Twitter, saying: “I’d said no openly gay actor had received Oscars – that doesn’t detract from Sam Smith’s achievement. Congratulations to him and all others!”

Smith also performed his winning song on Sunday night, of which he told the BBC: “It was the worst moment of my life. Singing was horrible. I hated every minute”.

A night of ups and downs then.