Sam Smith at the Oscars: A Moment To Mock or a Teaching Moment For All?
As the very first LGBT+ person to ever live tweet the Oscars or post a recap of it on YouTube, I feel very honored and qualified to write this article! I am the first right? Or the second. Or the third. I AM ONE OF THE FIRST, DAMNIT!
On Sunday night, Sam Smith (and his very handsome, straight and married writing partner Jimmy Napes) won an Academy Award for Best Original Song. What happened next has been discussed on social media for the following 24 hours.
When he accepted the award, Smith said he believed he was the first openly gay LGBT+ artist to win an Academy Award based on a Sir Ian McKellen interview he had read. McKellen was talking about the Best Actor category.
Immediately, most of us thought, “Well that doesn’t sound right but he was probably just nervous and excited.”
His last tweet before the event was actually “I’ve never been so fucking nervous in my entire life. PHWOAAAAAAAR.”
Now, the PHWOAAAAAR is key! I believe he was saying “Please Homosexual Win On Academy Awards AAAAAR”. (Sorry I make bad jokes for a living).
Point is, he was very nervous. He was also certainly not the first openly LGBT+ to win an Oscar. By now, we all have been educated that several people including Dustin Lance Black, Elton John, Mr. Stephen Sondheim, Melissa Etheridge and others have won.
Dustin Lance Black chose to drag Smith immediately with a tweet that has over ten thousand retweets:
The gay community loved this! Sam Smith is a frequent target of other gays for several reasons, some of which kind of make sense if I am being honest. My Facebook gay friends all bashed him and made jokes. I think one defended him (hi Scott Nevins!).
Also, a little backstory; Smith has a history of being thirsty on Twitter for young twinky boys like Tom Daley (Black’s 21 year old fiancé) and Troye Sivan so that made Mr. Black’s tweet even more comedic. It seemed the 41 year old was marking his territory a bit.
Funny enough, Black tweeted the next day that Tom and Sam are pals who text and people should feel free to laugh. (Okay, Daddy. Perhaps he should leave the funny tweets to the professionals.) Smith tweeted Black an apology so they have moved on and so should we.
But no one was laughing about what happened at the press conference after when a reporter told Sam that Howard Ashman had won song of the year TWICE before (“Under the Sea” – The Little Mermaid and “Beauty and the Beast” – Beauty and the Beast).
Smith jokingly said, “I should know him. We should date.”
Howard Ashman died in 1991 following complications from AIDS.
My opinion on this whole Sam Smith Oscar stuff is mixed. I love to make fun of things like this on Twitter/YouTube because it is great material for me and the What the Buck Show.
However, Sam Smith’s intention was not malicious. He didn’t slight other Oscar winners on purpose and he DID dedicate his award to all LGBT+ people which was lovely and appreciated. So I choose to focus on that.
Gays love to jump on other gays when they mess up. Especially when it comes to not knowing the history of our people.
He was just caught up in an exciting moment and he wanted to shine a light on the LGBT+ community so I thank him for that. Truly.
The Howard Ashman comment is a total cringe and a little more difficult to play off. But let’s look at it this way – people are talking about Howard Ashman today. People are talking about Melissa Etheridge, Elton John, Dustin Lance Black. His achievement reminded us of many other great achievements we have had.
We all learned a little something this year at the Oscars. Some people learned who Stacey Dash is. Oh snap!