Sam Smith has revealed regret over his Oscars acceptance speech in 2016, after the singer mistakenly claimed that he was the first openly gay man to triumph at the prestigious award ceremony.
As he accepted the Best Song award for James Bond theme ‘Writing’s On The Wall’, the singer 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.’
After it emerged that McKellen had specifically been referring to the Best Actor award, Smith faced criticism from figures including openly gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black who previously won the Best Adapted Screenplay award in 2009 for Milk.
Smith has now responded to the criticism, and says that while he “messed up”, he had always intended to spread a ‘positive’ message.
““I messed up,” he exclusively told NME.
“I actually meant to say Best Male Actor and I didn’t. I obviously did know that I wasn’t the first gay person to win an Oscar. I was gutted – there was 90 million people watching that show; I wanted to say something positive and I f**ked up.
“When I mucked that up, I lost a lot of confidence. I can’t express enough – it really upset me. It made me realise that what I say can be damaging.”
He also opened up on new album ‘The Thrill Of It All’, and revealed his hope that it will inspire young people who are wrestling with their sexuality.
“I think it’s so important to talk about this right now. What’s going on [in America] is scaring the s**t out of me”, he said.
“I want to make people feel uncomfortable. We should be addressing these issues. There are not enough openly gay men or women in the music industry – any industry.
“And we need to be at the front, talking, shouting, so that those little kids that live in the middle of nowhere can hear it and hopefully be inspired.”