Out singer/songwriter Sam Smith had something of a surprise last night at the Oscars when his song "Writing's On The Wall" snagged the Academy Award for Best Original Song.
But he kind of fumbled in his otherwise gracious acceptance speech saying he thought he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.
Smith referenced an interview Sir Ian McKellen gave to the Guardian recently where he said that, while straight men play gay and win the Oscar, openly gay men don't have the same results. “No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance,” McKellen said, later adding, “My speech has been in two jackets: ‘I’m proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar.’ I’ve had to put it back in my pocket twice.” He was speaking about gay men in acting roles.
Smith, in his speech, said, “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.”
Oscars: Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith Win Best Original Song for "...
Watch SAM SMITH dedicate his Best Original Song win to the LGBT community. #Oscars
Posted by The Hollywood Reporter on Sunday, February 28, 2016
Of course, there have been many openly gay people who have won Oscars in the past: Sir Elton John, Melissa Etheridge, Stephen Sondheim, screenwriters Alan Ball and Bill Condon, and many more.
Among those who took to Twitter to correct Smith was another past winner, Dustin Lance Black, who had a mic drop moment of his own:
Hey @SamSmithWorld, if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé. Here's a start: https://t.co/8hGTRtIaMK— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) February 29, 2016
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.— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) February 29, 2016
Smith was eventually told of his inaccuracy backstage, where he still seemed confused thinking he's only the SECOND gay man to win.
“S–t. F–k that. Two’s my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?”
“When I read the Ian McKellen piece I was just bowled over by it. I wanted to take this opportunity to show how much I care about my community,” he said. “In the past in my career people had said that I didn’t.”
Smith also copped to being slightly not his usual self, adding he was “completely overwhelmed. I can’t even speak. I’m a little bit drunk as well.”