Ian McKellen Defends Sam Smith's Oscar Speech Mistake: It 'Doesn't Detract' from Singer's Achievement
Sam Smith took home the Oscar for Best Original Song thanks to his hit "Writing on the Wall," which he wrote for the latest James Bond movie
The 76-year-old actor took to Twitter on Monday to stand up for the Writing’s on the Wall singer, who alluded that he may be the first openly gay man to win an Oscar and cited a previous quote by McKellen.
“I’d said no openly gay actor had received #Oscars that doesn t detract from @samsmithworld achievement. Congratulations to him & all others!” he wrote.
Smith, 23, took home the Oscar for Best Original Song thanks to his hit “Writing’s on the Wall,” which he wrote for the latest James Bond movie, Spectre.
“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 said. “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.”
“No openly gay man has ever won the Oscar; I wonder if that is prejudice or chance,” he said.
Following his speech, the “Stay With Me” crooner quickly received backlash for the comment, with social media users swiftly pointing out other openly gay men to win Oscars, including Sir Elton John, Stephen Sondheim, Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Joel Grey and most notably, Dustin Lance Black – who lashed out at Smith on Twitter.