Last night, a friend of Sam Smith’s was “verbally abused racially in London.” In a series of tweets about the incident, Smith shared that he was “deeply shocked” and “so upset” by what he saw, adding that he “never ever ever thought” that kind of abuse could happen in his home country. (You know, where This Is England takes place.) “I feel like I have to say something,” he wrote.

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Writers who noticed Smith’s tweets felt like they had to say something, too.

From Complex:

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Sam Smith Discovers Racism Still Exists in 2016

From Bossip:

Sam Smith Just Found Out That Racism Exists And We Guess He Deserves A Cookie Now

From Noisey:

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Sam Smith Only Just Waking Up To Racism Shows He’s Part Of the Problem

Smith, unaware that his tweets would suggest a lifetime of ignorance through privilege, was apparently shocked by the backlash, and has since responded to it on Instagram.

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His statement reads:

For the record, I was merely sharing an experience I had in the hope it would draw attention to how ridiculous it is to be racist in 2016.

This is not about me in any way, it’s about a deep rooted issue we have in our society that should now be extinct.

I don’t profess to know or remotely understand what it means to be on the receiving end of racist abuse, but having been bullied my whole life for being gay, what I do know is that it is wrong and completely unacceptable.

Here’s to people being allowed to be people.

There’s a lot going on here that didn’t have to be going on! Once again, a celebrity’s attempt to explain away a mistake has led to another one, and the words “THIS IS NOT ABOUT ME” have meant precisely the opposite.

You don’t have to tweet, Sam—nobody does. Now go sing a song and throw your phone in the Thames!


Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.

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Image via Getty.