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Two weeks ago, Stephen Fry deactivated his Twitter account after being criticized for describing Jenny Beavan as looking like a “bag lady” while collecting her BAFTA award for best costume design on Mad Max: Fury Road (an honor she would repeat at the Academy Awards).
Not helping anyone arguing against British men being overly sensitive, now another U.K. star is doing the same.
On Tuesday, Sam Smith announced that he would be “logging off for a while,” prompting a wave of sympathy from his followers.
I’m logging off for a while. Some Martinis shaken not stirred are definitely in order.
— Sam Smith (@samsmithworld) March 1, 2016
While he didn’t express it outright, Smith’s social media withdrawal is widely believed to have been a result of the backlash he faced after winning the Oscar for best original song, particularly for his acceptance speech when he incorrectly quoted Ian McKellen in suggesting he was the first openly gay man to win an Academy Award.
The news no doubt came as a shock to fellow openly gay Oscar winners Stephen Sondheim, Elton John and Dustin Lance Black. Black, who won the best original screenplay honor in 2009 for Milk and delivered an impassioned speech addressing struggling LGBTQ youth, actually fired Smith a seemingly damning tweet in response.
— Dustin Lance Black (@DLanceBlack) February 29, 2016
Black later backtracked, claiming it was a joke and that Smith (who had apologized) and his fiance — the British diver Tom Daley — were actually friends, so texted each other, but added that “knowing our LGBTQ history is important. We stand on the shoulders of countless brave men and women who paved the way for us.”
How long Smith’s Twitter hiatus lasts remains to be seen. Unlike Fry — who wrote on his website that “too many people have peed in the pool for you to want to swim there any more” — Smith hasn’t actually turned his account off. For the record, Fry has left Twitter before.
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