Ian McKellen clarifies Sam Smith's 'openly gay' Oscars comment

'I'd said no openly gay actor had received an Oscar - that doesn't detract from Sam Smith's achievement' 

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The Independent Online

Sir Ian McKellen has said Sam Smith might have misquoted him at the Oscars - but insisted it shouldn't detract from his achievement.

As the 23-year-old singer collected his Oscar for best original song for "Writing’s on the Wall" from Spectre at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, he mistakenly dubbed himself the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.

In doing so, he incorrectly referenced a quote by McKellen from a previous Guardian interview about homophobia within the film industry: “I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said no openly gay man had won an Oscar,” Smith said.

“If this is the case, I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community around the world. I stand here tonight as a proud gay man and I hope that we can all stand as equals one day.”

Unfortunately for Smith, he had misquoted Sir McKellen, who in fact had said no openly gay man had won a best actor Oscar.

The slip saw Smith widely castigated, with the openly gay director Dustin Lance Black, who is the partner of British diving champion Tom Daley, tweeting the singer to make him aware of his mistake.

Sam Smith isn't the first openly gay man to win an Oscar.. Nor is he the second

He wrote: "Hey @SamSmithWorld, If you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé". 

McKellen, however, doesn't seem to care that he had been misquoted - and was more keen that Smith gets some recognition for winning an Oscar. 

He tweeted: "I'd said no openly gay actor had received #Oscars-that doesn’t detract from @samsmithworld achievement. Congratulations to him & all others!"