Ian McKellen Reacts To Sam Smith's Oscar Speech
In addition to Lady Gaga fans being angry about the "Til It Happens To You" singer not winning an Oscar, there were also many people confused about Sam Smith's Oscar acceptance speech for Best Original Song. Overwhelmed and overjoyed about the prestigious honor "Writing's on the Wall" from Spectre received, Smith took to the stage, where he not only voiced his hope for equality, but also "quoted" Sir Ian McKellen as saying "no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar," a claim that isn't true. Well, Ian McKellen has now responded to Smith's Oscar speech and set the record straight.
First, here are Smith's words: "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. 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." He then added, "I stand here tonight as a proud gay man, and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day."
As for McKellen, he took to Twitter the next day and shared, "I'd said no openly gay actor had received #Oscars-that doesn’t detract from @samsmithworld achievement. Congratulations to him & all others!"
See? No hard feelings between the Lord of the Rings actor and the award-winning singer at all.
Backstage after his acceptance speech, a reporter informed Smith that he wasn't the first openly gay person to win an Academy Award, to which he replied, "Sh*t!" And during a post-win interview, Smith "corrected" himself by telling Good Morning Britain, "I think I am the secondly open gay person to win it," which also isn't the case.
The Golden Globe and Grammy winner then took to Twitter on Monday to clear the air again. "Second openly gay man to win an oscar or third or fourth or 100th, it wasn't my point," he tweeted. "My point was to shine some light on the LGBT community who I love so dearly."
Openly gay people who have won Oscars before Smith include Milk's Dustin Lance Black, The Lion King's Elton John, and An Inconvenient Truth's Melissa Etheridge. Whatever the case, and despite the backlash being thrown Smith's way, it sounds like the singer's point was a positive one and that McKellen is not upset with him whatsoever and is proud of his achievement.
Unlike Gandalf, McKellen is letting this one pass.