There's a lot of stuff being said about Sam Smith's acceptance speech at the Oscars. Mentioning that he read an article which he THOUGHT said no openly gay man PERIOD had ever won an Oscar (Ian McKellen actually said that no openly gay male actor had ever won the Best Actor Oscar), he stumbled a little at the podium with the shiny trophy in his hands, but didn't let his confusion get him down - at least whilst he was on stage.
Immediately, people ran to social media to correct him and, when Dustin Lance Black - an openly gay man who has won an Oscar in the past - got wind of exactly what Sam had said, he wasted little time in correcting him, publicly shaming him and taking a less-than-subtle dig which was only ever going to be construed in one way.
Realising his mistake, Sam cleared things up on social media the day after the ceremony, writing:
After Sam had publicly apologised to Dustin, the filmmaker cleared up rumours Sam had been trying to steal away his fiancé Tom Daley, tweeting the following:
Why did this only come after Sam's apology? Because Dustin Lance Black was revelling in the fact he had chastised a younger member of the LGBT community in front of millions, made him look more than a little silly and left an ambiguous message garnering headlines all over the world.
He wasn't the only member of the LGBTQ+ community to laugh at Sam. Thousands took to Twitter to send him hate and call him out for daring to be ignorant to some of the accomplishments the community had being a part of in the past.
As a member of the LGBT+ community myself, I winced, but not because of Sam's misunderstanding. I winced every time I saw a pointed comment in his direction. Everybody seems so quick to tear somebody down whether that person is like them and fighting for the same rights as them or not. We're a species that LOVES building up people, placing them on a high podium, expecting the world from them and then dragging them down to murky depths whenever we get the opportunity. It's stomach-churning behaviour but it's stuff that goes on everywhere, every day.
Now Sam feels he has to take a break from social media. I don't blame him. It must be overwhelming to have a platform which allows others to attack you so freely. Instead of now celebrating the fact that he has won, Sam's win has been overshadowed by something quite frankly ridiculous. It was one of the biggest surprise wins on the night and that perhaps is the reason it should be being so talked about.
Why should we expect other people to accept us for who we are, flaws and all, when we cannot do the same for a member of our own community?
Well-known activist Philip Christopher Baldwin comments: "I'm saddened that Sam Smith felt he had to quit Twitter in response to the criticism surrounding his Oscars acceptance speech. I hope Sam does not come to remember the Oscars 2016 for the backlash surrounding his acceptance speech, rather than the amazing award he has won. I think the furore that has broken out over his acceptance speech is completely unnecessary. I'd like to congratulate him on winning an Oscar for his incredible soundtrack 'Writing's On The Wall'.
"Sam made a silly error, but it's not something we should allow to overshadow this tremendous achievement. Sir Ian McKellen, who Sam Smith referenced in his acceptance speech, said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar for Best Actor and Sam got confused. Although he may not be the first openly gay person to receive an Oscar, it's exciting to see an LGBT person succeed at this level and great that he wanted to use the opportunity to further LGBT rights.
"It would be nice to see more solidarity from the community he sought to help, rather than criticism. We should focus on this talented young man's achievements, rather than seeking to detract from his big moment."