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Sam Smith wins his first Oscar, but not first openly gay man to take home the prize

On Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
Getty Images

Getty Images

The year of Sam Smith continued Sunday night at the 88th Academy Awards. Not only did the British soul singer perform his Oscar-nominated song “The Writing’s on the Wall” from the James Bond film “Spectre,” he also took home the award for Best Original Song for the 007 ballad. Thrilled about the victory, Smith dedicated the award to the LGBT community during his acceptance speech, but got it wrong about being the first openly gay man to wan the prestigious award.

 In Smith’s defense, he mentioned he was unsure whether or not he was the first openly gay man to win an Oscar, but referenced an article by Sir Ian McKellen, which suggested that he might have been the first. During his speech Smith 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, and 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. I stand here tonight as a proud gay man, and I hope we can all stand together as equals one day.”

While the victory is certainly one worth tucking away as a milestone, the Grammy-winning singer has a few openly gay men who have won the award ahead of him. Elton John, Dustin Lance Black, Howard Ashman and Scott Rudin were all open about their sexuality when they accepted their Academy Awards.

In fact, Dustin Lance Black – who won for Best Original Screenplay back in 2008 – took a moment on Twitter to remind Smith that he won before him and also told the singer to stop texting his fiancé, Olympic diver Tom Daley, while he is at it. In a Twitter post that included a link to his acceptance speech, Black said:

“Hey [Sam Smith], if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé.”


Article originally published on Examiner.com

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