Sunday 25 September 2016

Sam Smith responds to backlash and accuses critics of missing the point of his Oscars acceptance speech

Independent.ie Newsdesk and Agencies

Published 29/02/2016 | 20:43

British singer-songwriter Sam Smith, winner for Best Original Song for
British singer-songwriter Sam Smith, winner for Best Original Song for "Writing's on the Wall" from the movie "Spectre", gestures at the Governors Ball following the 88th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California February 28, 2016. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Sam Smith has accused critics of missing the point of his Oscars acceptance speech after facing a backlash online.

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The 23-year-old won an Academy Award for Best Original Song for his James Bond theme, Writing's on the Wall, on Sunday night, but he quickly came under fire after claiming he may be the first openly gay man to receive a gold statue during his speech.

After a night of partying, Sam took to Twitter on Monday to explain his comments.

"So hungover. genuinely feels like a dream," he began, before adding: "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 (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) community who i love so dearly."

During his moment on stage, Sam mentioned a recent article written by actor Ian McKellen, who noted that no openly gay man has ever won an Oscar. The veteran was only referring to the main acting categories, a distinction which appeared to have been lost on Sam.

"If this is the case, even if it isn't the case, I wanna dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world," the singer told the Dolby Theatre audience. "I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day."

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However, openly gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, who won an Oscar for Milk in 2009, was quick to blast Sam on Twitter for getting his facts wrong, and for texting his fiance, British Olympic diver Tom Daley.

"Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé," the 41-year-old wrote. "THE POINT: knowing our LGBTQ history is important. We stand on the shoulders of countless brave men and women who paved the way for us."

Saoirse Ronan at the Oscars on Sunday
Saoirse Ronan at the Oscars on Sunday

While Sam didn't acknowledge the texting element of Dustin's post, he did post a response regarding his point about previous openly-gay Oscar winners.

"Apologies for the mix up @DLanceBlack I'll be sure to check out your films now x Belated Congrats on the Oscar x," he wrote.

Sam also added a black and white photograph to Instagram, showing him sitting outside with his head bowed, as a bottle of beer and his Oscar sit on a table nearby.

"I can't put into words how I feel other than... Hungover and Insanely happy x", he wrote.

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