Sam Smith Receives Instant Backlash for Wrongly Believing He's the First Openly Gay Man to Win an Oscar

Sam Smith Receives Instant Backlash for Wrongly Believing He's the First Openly Gay Man to Win an Oscar

Milk screenwriter Dustin Lance Black schools the singer after his controversial acceptance speech. 

By Jocelyn Vena

UPDATE: Following Dustin's criticism of Sam's speech, the singer headed to Twitter to clear up the message he was trying to convey and to apologize to the screenwriter.

When Sam Smith took the stage at the Academy Awards on Sunday, he probably had no clue that his acceptance speech he would get some shade from Oscar-winning screenwriter Dustin Lance Black. When the British singer accepted his Best Original Song award for his Spectre theme "Writing's on the Wall," he used his time in the spotlight to open up about issues in the LGBT community. "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," he told the audience. "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." To factcheck, Sir Ian McKellen addressed the Oscar's lack of diversity in January and raised the question of why an openly gay man has never won the Best Actor award. 

Dustin, who won Best Original Screenplay in 2009 for Milk, and many others, were quick to point out the inaccuracy of that statement. "Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiance," he wrote, throwing in a juicy reference to his fiance, Olympian swimmer Tom Daley, which brings up an entirely new line of questions. "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." Sam had not responded to his Tweet as of press time.

Smith is not the first openly gay man to win an Oscar, and hardly the first openly gay performer to win in the Best Song category. Melissa Etheridge (2007), Elton John (1994), and Stephen Sondheim (1991) are all past winners in that category alone. Melissa and Ian McKellen addressed Sam's win.

Real Housewives-worthy shade seemed to be a theme for the night. When Mad Max: Fury Road costume designer Jenny Beavan headed to the stage to accept her Oscar for Outstanding Costume Design, she appeared to get some side eye from The Revenant director (and Best Director winner) Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. Check out the GIF below and judge for yourself.

Hey, Alejandro, at least Leonardo DiCaprio finally won.

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