The singer misattributed the British actor's comment while accepting best original song.
Credit: David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

When Sam Smith took the stage Sunday night to accept his Oscar for Best Original Song, the British singer used the win as an opportunity praise the LGBT community. “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,” Smith said in his acceptance speech. “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.”

Unfortunately for Smith, that was not the case. McKellen’s comment in January stated no gay man had ever received the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role honor. After Smith received a flood of negative remarks following his inaccurate speech, the 76-year-old actor took to Twitter to defend the “Writing’s on the Wall” singer and clarify his earlier statement.

“I’d said no openly gay actor had received #Oscars-that doesn’t detract from @samsmithworld achievement,” McKellen tweeted Monday. “Congratulations to him & all others!”

While speaking with reporters after his Oscar win Sunday, Smith quickly learned of his mistake. ” “Sh‑‑! F‑‑‑ that!” Smith exclaimed. “Two’s my lucky number, so it’s all good. Who was the other person?”

Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Stephen Sondheim, and Elton John are among the list of openly gay men to take home Oscar statues in the past, as is Milk writer Dustin Lance Black, who called out Smith on Twitter over the error.

“Hey [Sam Smith], if you have no idea who I am, it may be time to stop texting my fiancé,” the 2009 Best Original Screenplay winner wrote early Monday morning. Black, who got engaged to Tom Daley in October, added hours later that as a gay man, Smith should have better knowledge of the past.

“THE POINT: knowing our LGBTQ history is important,” Black continued. “We stand on the shoulders of countless brave men and women who paved the way for us.”

Oscars 2016
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