Pop Culture

The Sam Smith vs Dustin Lance Black Debacle Makes All Gays Look Bad

"I hope we can all stand together as equals one day."

Sam Smith and Dustin Lance Black, two highly awarded openly gay entertainers, were engaged in an unnecessarily nasty and childish catfight over social media. 

It all started at the Oscars on Sunday. Sam Smith, a champion of insufferably bland and simpering love songs, managed to pick up a prize for his limitless mediocrity on the track "Writing's On The Wall" for the James Bond film Specter

Smith's acceptance speech was fraught with factual inaccuracies. "I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar," Smith announced. "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."

As many pointed out, that wasn't the case. From Slate: "Indeed, it is not the case, on two fronts. McKellen did express to the Guardian back in January that he suspected prejudice might be to blame for an openly gay man (like himself) never winning the lead actor category—and importantly, he only did so as a way of showing solidarity with the ongoing critique of racism in the academy. And of course, a number of prominent gay people have taken home statuettes. Dustin Lance Black ... won in 2009 for his very openly gay screenplay for Milk. And then there are Bill Condon, Alan Ball, Stephen Sondheim, Elton John for goodness' sakes, just to choose a few gay male recipients."

Ok, fine. Sam Smith didn't bother to do his research before making a speech at a dumb award show. This would almost (almost!) be excusable if it didn't propel a nasty public spat between the singer and a fellow Oscar winning gay.

The aforementioned Milk screenplay writer Dustin Lance Black took issue with the speech. Black (41) recently became an LGBT media darling while courting his much younger partner, Olympian Tom Daley (21), in addition to his long established connections to Hollywood's controversial (and perhaps illegal?) underground gay party world. He shadily tweeted the following message (dragging his fiance into the argument) after the awards:

Oh boy. The inciting incident sparked palpable outrage from all sides on the internet: some condemned Smith's lack of history, others condemned the sleazy tone of Black's retort. Both men have since offered weak (yet somehow still oddly venomous?) apologies:

Sure, whatever.

Here's the thing: nobody should be rewarding either of these two fools to begin with. Both are vastly uninteresting, deplorably and desperately accessible, entitled, weirdly conservative, privileged, and bratty. If either of them wanted to be a representative for the LGBT community, they would have thought harder about how not to come across as shallow, bitchy, and unintelligent (things the straight world already presume about most queers).

Incredibly talented queer artists (especially those who are not white, not binary, and not homo-normative) perpetually struggle for coverage and attention while these two morons rake in awards and then claim to represent sexual minorities. Both are celebrated for their "bravery" as out individuals but do little to lift others in the community from marginalization.

The LGBT community is vastly diverse, immensely talented and creative, incredibly visionary, often politically revolutionary. If Dustin Lance Black and Sam Smith wanted to represent the LGBT community, they would have used this opportunity to speak out against the whitewashing of Stonewall. If they wanted to represent the LGBT community they would honor the memory of the 30+ trans women murdered since 2015. They would talk about restrictive bathroom bills being passed all over the country, or about the increasing LGBT homelessness crisis. Hell, they could at least have given a shoutout to Anohni!

Instead, they chose to argue about themselves.

Legendary gay filmmaker John Waters once said that "Everybody has limits. Even Divine had limits; the first time he met Richard Simmons he felt homophobic."

Well, I've found my limit. And someone should limit these two from speaking on behalf of LGBTs ever again.

Read more about: Pop CultureLGBTQ

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