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

By Jodi Guglielmi
Updated February 29, 2016 03:00 PM
Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage; Inset:Kevin Winter/Getty

Ian McKellen is coming to Sam Smith’s defense following the singer’s Oscars speech mix-up.

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.

After performing the song earlier in the night, he gave a tearful acceptance speech in which he called for more equality for the LGBTQ 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 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.”

In January, McKellen weighed in on the lack of diversity at the Oscars, pointing out that black actors weren’t the only ones being left out.

“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.