A big night for Sam Smith turned to be a bit of disaster after he was criticised for saying he was the first gay man who won in the Oscars.
Smith won the best original song award at the 88th Academy Awards for “Spectre” soundtrack “Writing’s on the Wall.” During his acceptance speech, the singer claimed to be the first openly gay man to win an Oscar and cited actor Sir Ian McKellen’s statement.
“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. 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,” Smith said in his acceptance speech.
His statement drew negative reactions online. One of those is Dustin Lance Black, an openly gay man who previously received an Oscars trophy.
Black, who won best original screenplay in 2008 for “‘Milk,” slammed Smith on Twitter and also told the British singer to stop texting his fiancé, British Olympic diver Tom Daley.
Sir John Gielgud was the first openly gay actor to win an Oscar for the classic 1981 comedy “Arthur,” Mail Online noted. Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Stephen Sondheim and Elton John were also among the list of openly gay men to take home the Academy Awards statues in the past, Entertainment Weekly added.
Smith then responded to critics who called him out for the mistake he made and delivered his mea culpa. On Monday, he posted a series of tweets apologizing for the error.
McKellen also took to Twitter to defend Smith and at the same time clarify his earlier statement.
“I’d said no openly gay actor had received #Oscars-that doesn’t detract from @samsmithworld achievement. Congratulations to him & all others!” the actor wrote.