Sam Smith responds to backlash over racism tweets

Singer was accused of being naive after being shocked by racial abuse in London

Sam Smith has responded to criticism he faced after expressing his shock at witnessing a friend being racially abused in London.

Smith posted a series of tweets in the early hours of Wednesday morning (January 20), in which he alleged that a friend of his was “verbally abused racially”, something he “never ever ever ever thought would happen here”.

“I am absolutely speechless,” he wrote. “Absolutely speechless and hurt… Humans are humans.” Smith also described himself as “deeply shocked” at how “unhelpful” the police apparently were following the alleged incident.

“I feel like I have to say something. I’m just so upset,” his last tweet on the matter read. Read all the tweets in full below.


Smith was widely criticised and mocked online for what many perceived as the naivety of his tweets, with one Twitter user writing: “Why is Sam Smith so shocked that racism exists? He needs to come out of that bubble of white privilege more often”.

Uploading a statement to Instagram, Smith has now said that he was “merely sharing an experience I had in the hope it would draw attention to how ridiculous it is to be racist in 2016”.

“I don’t profess to know or remotely understand what it means to be on the receiving end of racist abuse,” he wrote, adding: “[but] what I do know is that it is wrong and completely unacceptable”.

Read Smith’s statement in full beneath.

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A photo posted by Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) on

Sam Smith won a Golden Globe award for Best Original Song earlier this month (January) for his Spectre Bond theme. The song is also nominated for an Oscar in the Best Original Song category.

Smith became the first artist to reach Number One in the UK with a Bond theme when he released ‘Writing’s On The Wall’ in November.