Sam Smith managed to forget about the existence of Elton John and Sir John Gielgud by proclaiming himself the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.
Smith and joint songwriter Jimmy Napes won the Best Original Song Oscar for Writing’s On The Wall, for their James Bond theme for Spectre.
Quoting an interview Sir Ian McKellen gave in January, Smith said: “Sir Ian McKellen said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar.
“If this is the case – even if it isn’t the case – then I want to dedicate this award to the LGBT community around the world.”
— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) February 29, 2016
Openly gay men to have won an Oscar include Best Supporting Actor winner Sir John Gielgud for Arthur in 1981, screenplay writers Alan Ball (for American Beauty in 2000) and Dustin Lance Black (for Milk in 2009) plus Elton John, who also won the Best Original Song Oscar for Circle Of Life from The Lion King in 1994.
Black in particular took offence to Smith’s claim. He tweeted the singer, posting a link to his acceptance speech for writing Sean Penn drama Milk and – referring to his British Olympic diving hopeful partner Tom Daley – commented: “If you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé.”
Smith managed to compound his error by later giving an interview to Good Morning Britain on ITV. Having been informed of Black’s comments, Smith said: “I’m wrong. I think I’m the second openly gay man to win an Oscar.”
Evidently Smith’s management are too scared of him or don’t have access to Google to actually inform the 23-year-old singer of the real story.
Loaded’s deputy editor John Earls has covered entertainment and sport across a range of national newspapers, plus several football and music magazines, since 1990. Follow him on Twitter at @EarlsJohn