Sam Smith’s not-so-historic Oscar win results in jeers and drama

Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith celebrate their Best Original Song win at the Oscars for "Writing's On the Wall."

Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith celebrate their Best Original Song win at the Oscars for "Writing's On the Wall." Associated Press

Singer Sam Smith picked up an Oscar for Best Original Song last night for his James Bond theme, “Writing’s On The Wall,” but it’s his acceptance speech that has tongues wagging. During his speech, the artist made the mistaken claim that he was the first gay man to win an Academy Award.

“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,” Smith said.

Actually what McKellen said was that no gay man has ever won the award for Best Actor. Informed of his mistake, Smith insisted his win was still somewhat historic. “I had something in my head,” he said. “I think I’m the secondly openly gay person to win it.”

Actually, several gays and lesbians have won Oscars, although some of them weren’t out at the time – including screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who won the Best Original Screenplay award for “Milk.”

After reporters told Smith that even his claim for second place wasn’t correct, citing openly gay songwriter Howard Ashman’s wins in 1989 and 1991 for Best Original Song, Smith quipped, “I should know him. We should date.”

Ashman died in 1991 from complications from AIDS. The Disney animated movie “Beauty and the Beast,” was dedicated to his memory.

Black, for his part, quickly took to Twitter to remind Smith of his previous win and to get in a personal dig. “If you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé,” the screenwriter wrote, including a link to a video of his Academy Award acceptance speech.

Black is engaged to Olympic diver Tom Daley.



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